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I have essential tremors, how can I overcome in social situations?

13 Answers
Last Updated: 02/06/2018 at 4:10pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Jackie Dross, M.S. Community Counseling


I have a passion for working with people from a non-judgmental, strengths based approach to meet their goals for personal growth.

Top Rated Answers
January 2nd, 2015 2:59am
I have essential tremor as well, so I know how awkward it can be it social situations. I couldn't tell you how many times I've had to explain to people "why my hands are so shaky". I find the best way to deal with it is to educate people about ET. The fear of being judged for having ET causes it to get worse, so being surrounded by understanding people causes you to be judged less. The less fear you have, the more your tremors are reduced. I knew a guy in high school who was quick to make fun of me, but once I explained to him that I couldn't control my shakiness, he was a lot more understanding. Personally, giving presentations in class is the most terrifying thing I have to do, and it's because of my ET. My hands shake so much that I can't hold my presentation notes. There are a couple of options to deal with this, the first being to memorize what you have to say. If you memorize everything, you won't need notes. If you're like me and can't memorize a single sentence, podiums are a great hands free solution. Talking with your teacher or professor can ensure a podium will be available. Without medication, it's really hard to control tremors, as they get worse with concentration. After trying to pour countless drinks and spilling them, I have a friend pour my drinks for me when I'm in public. I find people staring at me makes my ET worse, so if I can, I pour my drinks in a separate room from everyone else. When I'm asked to help serve food at a reception, I help out by washing dishes instead. Practice controlling your fear in groups that you trust, and rework situations in groups that you don't. Remember that you are not your tremors, and they are only a part of who you are.
September 23rd, 2014 10:30pm
I find it very hard to be surrounded by people at parties, or sometimes at school. The first thing I do is try to find someone I know. If I can't find anyone familiar, then I take a moment to observe the people around me and find someone who seems very friendly and kind. I know myself, and I know how I am with people. It takes a while to muster up the courage to say hi to someone I don't know very well, but at the end of the day I know that talking to that friendly person made me enjoy my time there. If things go wrong when I'm talking to someone, I'll politely excuse myself from the conversation and have a little bit of alone time to gather myself. Once i feel confident enough to go back in, then I'll make my way back towards the person or find someone new to talk to.
September 6th, 2016 3:32pm
You can talk to your doctor about these if you haven't, and get medication that reduce tremors, however: Please don't feel embarrassed by these. It's actually a very common condition. While it can worsen over time, it can also lessen with specific coping techniques. Feeling uncomfortable/embarrassed can exacerbate the tremors.
November 5th, 2014 11:24pm
Focus on the opposite hand ( imagine it stopping) and then focus on the other. Sometimes just bringing attention to it can stop them. I'm not sure why, but it does stop it in some situations. Wishing you the best!
November 21st, 2014 1:58am
Relaxation techniques like deep breathing, grounding techniques, self-soothing activities and calming breaths can help reduce anxiety which could, potentially, help lessen tremors if stress creates or worsens your tremors. If the tremors are significant and/or interfering with your daily life, it may be time to see a doctor for medication or more specific coping techniques.
December 7th, 2014 12:37am
Based on my personal experience, doing breathing exercises and distracting myself helped overcome tremors in social situations.
January 4th, 2015 5:09pm
Try to relax. Do some deep breathing and try to feel as comfortable as possible. Also, trying to not to think about the the tremors when they happen. My leg shakes when I fell my anxiety coming on and trying to relax and ignoring my leg help me.
January 18th, 2016 10:13pm
Do not drink caffeine, because they exacerbate them. Alcohol can help decrease them, but do not drink too much. Also, see a doctor to see which medications can help. Another thing is to start to overcome your anxiety, because that will increase the likelihood of having tremors too.
February 6th, 2018 4:10pm
Always be yourself no matter what. You can win over anything, just be confident and go for it. Don't listen to what others say, don't value opinions of unimportant people who make you feel bad, and you will instantly gain strength for social activities and know your way around social situations. Just always be you.👌
October 7th, 2014 2:01pm
don't be afraid of it, if you surround yourself with good, positive people you have nothing to worry about.
November 24th, 2014 2:32am
Relaxation is all I can think of. If you are with friends it shouldn't be a problem anyways (of course, if they care and know all about you)
November 16th, 2015 6:18am
Whenever you have the tremors you should give yourself some space from people and relax somewhere till your tremors subside before you be around people again.
January 4th, 2016 12:32am
I guess when we are socializing we have to adapt to something! Either be Bold and enjoy/Neglect any one else and live like a prince / princess.