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  • Writer's pictureJesse Thornton

Social Anxiety

Updated: Sep 16, 2021

Social anxiety is a silent suffering.  Many people with social anxiety are interesting, hard-working people who become unknown and isolated because they struggle to break through the barrier of social demands to build relationships.  This can eventually lead to additional harmful problems such as heavy video gaming, binge eating, or substance abuse.  Ultimately, it makes good people miserable.  This article talks about how to manage social anxiety.

Believe in Yourself:

People with social anxiety often feel they are uninteresting or even boring, yet it turns out to be very much the opposite.  Social introverts often explore very interesting topics and ideas in great depth.

Don’t waste precious time berating yourself about your personality.  Respect your interests no matter how unique.  If you are willing to give yourself a little benefit of the doubt, you are likely to find that most people will as well.  What’s more, you will likely be surprised at how interested others are in what you have to say.

Confront Your Fears:

Fear is a monster.  Most people with social anxiety don’t want to confront monsters, but it offers the chance to be courageous.  That ugly beast is separating you from enjoying other people.  It is also preventing other people from enjoying you.  Take courage and confront this fear.

Get a wing man (or woman):

You may not have to do this alone.  Find a family member or friend who you trust, and tell them you have social anxiety.  Go to social activities with them, so you don’t have to confront this alone.

Embarrass Yourself:

Find your foibles and laugh at them.  If you are a nerd, nerd it up!  If you put your foot in your mouth under pressure, be willing to laugh at natural human mistakes.  People with social anxiety often feel a need for perfection.  Socializing is an extremely imperfect activity.  An important part of social growth is trying new things to figure out if it works or not.  Often, it does not.  Remember, there is really no wrong way to socialize with someone.

Never Give Up:

Winston Churchill famously gave a speech saying, “Never give up!”  When battling social anxiety, keep practicing.  Social interactions are successful or unsuccessful for very many reasons.  Many famous orators had social anxiety.  Through persistence they were able to turn their weakness into a strength.  If you expect this to be easy, you may get discouraged, but if you expect a challenge, you will approach this armed and ready for success.

Hopefully these ideas give you a starting point on your journey of overcoming your social anxiety.  If you wish to take active first steps, sign up with a counselor to develop a plan.

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