Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is a serious psychological condition that’s more common than many realize. Those who suffer from it, fear interaction with people and social situations or they may feel uncomfortable at the thought itself. But such can be part of the reality of living with social anxiety.

Let’s look at this condition, the feelings it can cause, and some self-help tips to cope with social anxiety and help make life less stressful.  

They feel misunderstood- Those of us who don’t suffer from social anxiety can’t begin to understand what others go through, and it’s precisely this feeling of isolation that is one of the biggest obstacles in overcoming it.

 They don’t know what’s normal-  When you suffer from social anxiety, being unable to meet new people or visit public spaces is one thing, but some people break into a sweat when they need to make a phone call.

 They’re sensitive to criticism- The default setting for someone with social anxiety is irrational negativity, which means that the most well-intentioned advice can be interpreted as a personal attack.

They’re uncertain of themselves- Low self-esteem is common among those with social anxiety, which can hold them back from golden opportunities and exciting situations. They may come across as shy at best and snobbish at worst.

They care what we think- The opinions of others can matter greatly to those with social anxiety, and they’ll often second-guess every last word or decision.

Check out these tips that can make life a little bit easier.

Consider the impact- Perfection, approval, control – these are the three things people with social anxiety seek above all else. If you identify with this, try to analyze how it’s affecting your life.

 Let go- Control allows us to feel less vulnerable; but dictating life isn’t the natural order. Preparing for potential pitfalls is wise, but going overboard can create undue stress, exacerbating the anxiety.

Know the truth- Being able to distinguish reality from fantasy is crucial. If you forget your name when introducing yourself, the reality is you haven’t destroyed your reputation.

 Be YOU!- Quit trying to make everyone else happy, especially if that means having to change who you are. If you’re the type to acquiesce when all you want is to say ‘no’, start trying to turn people down. They’ll live.  

- Alekhya Reddy
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