For the person who is terrified of interacting with others there is nothing worse than having social anxiety. In laymen’s terms this is often called being “shy”. But for most, to have social anxiety is more than just being shy and is a serious and crippling emotional disorder that hinders their ability to have normal relationships and a good quality of life.
Typical symptoms of someone who has severe social anxiety include:
- Avoiding people and social activities.
- Fearful of speaking in front of others in a group setting.
- Panic attacks when the thought of interacting with a strange new person presents itself.
- Social awkwardness that never seems to improve.
- Inability to communicate effectively due to fear.
- Fear and lack of inner-confidence control your life.
- Having few or absolutely no friends you associate with.
- Avoiding eye contact when speaking with others.
Who suffers from social anxiety?
You may be surprised by this answer! But through my very quick research I have done on this topic I have discovered that approximately 70% of the general public struggles with some form of social anxiety.
My guess is that 70% struggle with it with the remaining 20% having minor bouts of shyness from time to time and the remaining 10% being true extroverts.
To sort of qualify that 70% number I made a list of approximately 50 people I am somewhat close to or very familiar with. Of those 50 people I can honestly say that easily 30 or more of these folks are shy, very shy or extremely shy to the point of being socially awkward. Very interesting in that these numbers correlate to what I was discovering during my research.
Here are some tricks to overcome social anxiety.
Trick Number One: become an actor. That’s correct, become an actor whenever you are forced to interact with others and you feel totally uncomfortable with anxiety quickly approaching. When I was much younger in my early 20s I used this trick whenever I went out to the local nightclubs with my buddies.
Whenever I found myself feeling very uncomfortable I imagined I was someone else other than myself. Instantly by doing this my anxiety dissipated somewhat as I was no longer “myself”… but in fact… someone else; thus was not responsible for any mistakes I would make during the course of the evening. Worked for me, may work for you.
Trick Number Two: 70% of all of us are just like you… or worse! Remember that 70% of all the people around you have social anxiety as bad as you do, or probably worse. This translates to the fact that they are probably more afraid of talking to you than you are of them!
So next time you walk into a hot nightspot with your friends realize that the vast majority people at that night club are just as shy or more so than you. So, use this to your advantage.
Realize that with this knowledge you now have the upper hand knowing that any girl you may approach may be hoping that someone comes out and speaks with her as she will never approach someone to speak with them. Why? Because she probably has social anxiety just like you, of course!
Trick Number Three: face your fear head-on!! The best and most sure way to overcome social anxiety or any type of anxiety is to confront it. You must realize that the fear you face will never go away and will always be there. I truly believe that most fear and anxiety comes from your internal belief that you fear you will never be able to “handle” the situation you are finding yourself in when anxiety occurs.
It is this internal feeling of not being able to “cope with” or “handle” the situation that creates anxiety and thus limits your ability to take necessary risks in life to move forward in meeting new people or experiencing new things.
The one true way to overcome these internal feelings is to confront them head on, face your fear and just do it. After moving forward in facing your fear over several events you will notice that your fear slowly diminishes and sooner or later is replaced with a feeling of comfort and calmness. At that point you may question as to why you ever felt anxiety in the first place.
Social anxiety is a serious emotional condition that most of us have at some point in our lives. Don’t let it cripple the quality of your life before it’s too late. Face it head-on and challenge yourself to be strong and beat the demon of social anxiety.
article: Social anxiety can be crippling!