November 14, 2014
Social anxiety. It’s something 15 million people in the U.S. struggle with daily. But what is social anxiety? Well as ADAA puts it, it is “the fear of being scrutinized and judged by others in social or performance situations.” Which means you have a fear of being judged by peers in social situations.
- Meeting new people
- Making small talk
- Being called on
- Being the center of attention
- Making phone calls
- Eating or drinking in public
- Parties or other big social events
A big question is, how do I overcome it?
Good News: social anxiety is completely curable.
Here are 5 ways to better cope with your social anxiety:
1) Prepare to Relax
Try to make yourself calm at times, this can be a very difficult thing, but you should strive for it. If you ever get too frazzled or stressed out in a social situation, have something to turn to. Weather its music, a friend, or a game. Something that calms you down.
2) Build a Support System
Getting support or at least someone to talk to about this might help. Talking about it may open your eyes to see how severe or minor the anxiety is. Knowing you can lean on someone can be extremely helpful either a close friend, parent, or counselor.
3) Create Goals
Making small weekly or daily goals for yourself can really push you out of your comfort zone and get you to do the things you want to. Small goals may include: Talk to a stranger on the bus, try and make a new friend, or talk to a counselor about the issue. These goals are to improve yourself, so they can be anything you want!
4) Treat Yourself
This goes along with the goals. If you achieve something, either major or small, treat yourself. Buy yourself a cookie, go to the movie, spa day...etc. Anything that makes you feel good, that doesn't happen quite often.
5) Face Your Fears!
This is probably the most important step in improving your understanding of social anxiety. Put yourself in a social situation. For example, if talking to strangers makes you anxious, try talking to one. Take it slowly and don't rush yourself! Give a compliment, ask a question, or anything that challenges it.
Overall, social anxiety and social phobias are something that many people deal with. You can overcome it through self-help or with the help of a counselor. For some, these tips might not help, and may need professional help. There is lots of resources if you or a loved one is struggling.
Written By 7 Cups Listener: JJill2