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How can I help myself get over social anxiety surronding small groups?

16 Answers
Last Updated: 02/22/2021 at 1:08am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Jessica McDaniel, LPC, LCPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I have been practicing cognitive behavioral psychotherapy since 2007 with a diverse group of adult clients with various diagnoses, all races, and socioeconomic classes.

Top Rated Answers
February 25th, 2015 7:31pm
I found that the best way is to start off with small steps. Have a trusted friend/family member with you at first and force yourself to speak a little bit. Keep increasing how much you say a little bit at a time. Then try and speak without the loved one beside you and keep pushing yourself. Also, try not to run away when the anxiety feels overwhelming as it does pass and, the more you prove this to yourself, the easier it will be to cope in the future.
February 26th, 2015 9:51pm
Try to make yourself as comfortable as possible. Be in a place nearby your house, so you can leave anytime you feel your anxiety coming up. Start with one or two good friends you trust and build the group up.
April 14th, 2015 12:43pm
based on my own experience, i rather be alone and get through it. being too attached with small groups make me got anxiety easily that's why i prefer to be alone
April 28th, 2015 1:51am
Remember you are dealing with fellow humans and not judges. They are also experiencing fears and apprehensions. You're all in it together, so enjoy your time together.
May 6th, 2015 9:33am
Breathe slowly, remember you could meet some great people. Smile, walk with confidence, keep your head held high and set a goal for yourself. Maybe even have a test conversation, and work from there!
May 9th, 2015 10:09pm
Take a deep breath, try to calm down and talk to myself in my head reassuring myself it's okay. Just look straight and don't look at anybody.
July 14th, 2015 6:46am
Start by practicing with one or two people, when you feel comfortable around small amounts of people trying adding in more people.
August 17th, 2015 7:37am
Slowly get yourself accustomed to being around groups, a few people at a time. Don't overwhelm yourself. Slow and steady wins the race, and getting over anxiety takes time.
May 9th, 2016 2:19pm
By getting a group of people together and trying to have conversations with them and not worrying about what other people are saying about you
November 8th, 2016 4:02pm
When I feel like I need to get over my anxiety of talking to people, I try to get a friend to come with me in the group situation so I have someone to fall back on or help me escape. If you don't have a friend with you all the time, then just starting out with really tiny groups and listening more than talking. People don't mind the fact that you're quiet, and definitely won't mind you adding to the conversation.
January 17th, 2017 4:33pm
Maybe the best way to help dissolve this social anxiety is to be with people that you are comfortable in being with (even if it is only one person) and then maybe slowly introduce more people into this group, even if its one person every few months, maybe then you will then start to feel more comfortable around people in groups. I hope that helps
May 9th, 2017 4:45pm
Work with a therapist, practice deep breathing every day. Write down situations that cause you anxiety, in order of severity. Then you perform the easiest behavior, and keep moving up the list.
March 27th, 2018 12:11am
You can help yourself get over social anxiety surrounding small groups by taking small steps in overcoming it as well as if you feel like it's too much taking a step back taking a breathe can help too.
August 7th, 2018 6:08pm
Through learning what exactly triggers your anxiety and discovering new coping methods. Being honest with these small groups about your anxiety can also help.
September 3rd, 2018 11:41pm
I'm the same way! I think the best advice would be to get more exposure and push yourself to do the thing that scares you (interacting with bigger groups) because that's how you expand and grow. If you find that you like it -- great! You've gained some new friends and more opportunity for social outings. If you find that you don't like it -- that's perfectly okay too! Some of us aren't as extroverted and prefer solitary activities or one-on-one hang sessions. I've found that by linking up and becoming friends with at least one person whose more outgoing and socially extroverted that it's opened up so many more opportunities to go out and enjoy my time with others. You could also try setting small goals throughout the night like telling a story to the group or being the first to bring up a topic or making a point to sit down with one stranger who you wanted to get to know better.
February 22nd, 2021 1:08am
I always find that starting point is what’s hard. Your mind goes through: What will I say? What will they think of me? Are they judging my appearance, clothes, hair? What if I say or do the wrong thing? I always found that the social anxiety focused on the fear of failure. Fear of failing to present myself well, to make a good impression, fear of rejection. It helped to bring someone absolutely comfortable in the situation, and that I knew and trusted well. My friend could help do introductions, break the ice, keep conversation going, and provide a person to lean on in the situation so it’s not as stressful. Having this intermediary really helps in these situations, and the more I experienced them the less anxiety I had.