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Does social anxiety reduce in the process of growing up?

2 Answers
Last Updated: 06/08/2020 at 5:31pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Victoria Cook, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I work to meet all clients where they are - working first to understand their needs and employing the tools needed to help them become their best, most empowered selves.

Top Rated Answers
May 7th, 2019 12:50am
I don't know. That's a hard one. I think as we get older, if we work jobs where we have to be around a lot of different people, we get wiser. We realize people aren't looking at us all the time and lose that acute fear of entering a room full of people. We may get married and have children and spend most of our time with our spouses and children or at work and function well in those areas. Our lives can be rich and satisfying - but, sadly, I don't know if my social anxiety will ever reduce to the point where I could make a good friend. I just can't seem to function on that level.
June 8th, 2020 5:31pm
It really depends on the root cause of your anxiety in the first place. For some people, social anxiety is simply a byproduct of being an awkward kid and so as they mature and become an adult, this anxiety begins to clarify. However, for a good number of people, social anxiety is about a chemical issue in the brain or another underlying physiological condition, sometimes it is rooted in autism spectrum disorder or PTSD/trauma, and any number of other causes. When you're dealing with anxiety caused by these many different roots, you cannot just expect it to go away with time and "growing up." Your best best, regardless of the cause, is to make active choices to work on the issue, practicing good social skills and exposing yourself to situations in a safe way, in order to learn better coping skills and to become more comfortable with these sensations and feelings. For most forms of anxiety, the best and most effective way to reduce their impacts is to do what is called exposure therapy, which means you take the time to put yourself into the situations that make you feel anxious and work on calming yourself down in those situations. In some cases, this should be done with a professional, but for many people, you can do this safely and easily enough with the help of family and friends. Good luck!