Social Anxiety Disorder
While it is normal to feel nervous in some social situations, people who experience daily social anxiety tend to avoid everyday interactions that cause them significant fear, anxiety, self-consciousness, and embarrassment because they fear being judged negatively by others.
You may have social anxiety if you can relate to the following:
- Do you experience intense anxiety or nervousness when faced with social situations?
- Do you fear being judged or criticized by others?
- Are you always worried about making mistakes, looking weird or different, or being embarrassed in front of others?
- Do you overthink everything you say before you say it?
- Do you constantly think about social interactions you have already had?
Social anxiety can make it hard to make friends, participate in classes and team activities, and to share ideas and feel close to others.
People with Social Anxiety Disorder may struggle with:
- Making eye contact and greeting others
- Starting a conversation and keeping it going
- Answering questions in class or work
- Show-and-tell, presentations, and public speaking
- Asking for help from teachers, store clerks, and authority figures
- Accepting common social mistakes (e.g., mispronouncing a word, forgetting a name)
- Feeling insecure and out of place in social situations
- Assertiveness- saying ‘no’ or asking others to change their behavior
Learning coping skills in therapy sessions can help you gain the confidence you need to improve your ability to interact with others. Exposure therapy, a behavioral form of treatment, can directly help you to face social situations that you have been avoiding or uncomfortable doing. Some examples of exposures include making silly mistakes, texting friends, posting on social media, and presenting to an audience.
Group therapy for social anxiety is available to help with direct social practice with others!