Debilitating and extremely irritating, social anxiety is responsible for decreasing the overall enjoyment of life for the people that suffer from it. Those who suffer under it report feeling extreme aversion to groups and even people in general, the tendency being to become extremely nervous or anxious, even when entering into relatively standard and basic social situations. The condition itself can develop in any number of ways and even be somewhat innate (shyness being an early indicator), likewise, overcoming it can be a real challenge, especially if you lack the means to hire a professional to assist you. What we’re about to cover is a few methods you can use to try to cure your social anxiety disorder on your own…
(Again, if your condition is quite serious, please schedule an appointment with a licensed medical professional.)
If your social anxiety is such that you cannot bring yourself to even stand in a crowd of people, start off small and try to work your way higher. In other words, find some unique, fun or unusual / unexpected activity to engage in out there in the world. Remember, you don’t have to jump out into the “deep end” just yet, the idea is to just acclimate yourself to being out in public amongst smaller groups and individuals. Over time, after recreating this experience repeatedly you will build up an “emotional buffer” which will allow you to get achieve bigger and better things.
Most people report having intense social anxiety (not because they are agoraphobic, but) because of the fear of being “judged”. Psychologists might label this sort of mindset as “self sabotage”, where one tends to feel as though they’re somehow “no good” or that there are potential enemies everywhere. Do away with these thoughts right now they’re definitely not helping you in any way. Think of it this way – if people really were thinking terrible things about you then there’s no conventional way to know or stop it, is there? Of course the truth is that most all of these feelings are imagined, purely the stuff of fiction. Don’t cut yourself short or engage in horrendous daydreaming where you are some kind of social pariah. Likewise, try to focus on mostly positive things and let the negative stuff roll off you like water on a ducks back.
Use your strengths and interests to forge new alliances
There’s a good reason why educators and social thinkers recommend that people engage in after school programs and/or take the time to do things like learn to play a musical instrument – it helps you to socialize. For instance, if you are an avid online gamer, form a team online composed of players from around your area (this might take some time) and then schedule a physical meet up at some point in the future. It’s very likely that many of the people in the group are just like yourself and full of the same social anxieties. If this is the case, take the opportunity to face the world together (strength in numbers).