Social Phobia Is A Pain!
Social phobia is another term for social anxiety. If you have it you feel really uncomfortable and anxious interacting with others socially. This may happen only in specific circumstances or all of the time.
It is extremely isolating! You really crave connection and friendship but don't feel comfortable with people.
Signs & Symptoms of Social Phobia
Some of symptoms include sweating, blushing, trembling, nausea and difficulty talking. Many situations cause anxious moments. These can include going out in public, meeting new people or using the telephone.
When you see someone you know on the street, you may pretend to ignore them. "What do I say?" Eating in a public place, speaking up in a group, initiating a conversation, using public washrooms, meeting new people, making eye contact, attending parties, making small talk, or offering an opinion can be extremely difficult and cause intense feelings of anxiety.
For more information on symptoms of social phobia.
Is There Hope?
Yes, thankfully you can learn to be more socially competent and become much less anxious about interacting with people. Of course, it requires some work, comittment and willingness to change on your part.
A cognitive behavior therapist can help you to go through this process or there are also some programs available online:Think Right Now & Change That's Right Now.
Or here is another program!
And another one.
Change Your Thinking
- "No one will like me"
- "I don't fit in with these people"
- "I will not know what to say. I'll embarrass myself"
Do any of these thoughts sound familiar?
One of the key aspects to eliminating social anxiety is to become more conscious of the unrealistic and negative thoughts that go through our heads. Thoughts like "I am not really likeable" or "People will think I am ugly or strange" or "I never fit in" that we tell ourselves are not not true and cause us to be cautious and worried when we interact with others.
Do you find you are often quite cruel to yourself and are constantly putting yourself down? You certainly wouldn't speak that way to a friend, would you? These negative thoughts must be replaced with gentler, kinder, more realistic thoughts.
Learn New Social Skills & Eliminate Social Phobia
If you have spent most of your life avoiding many social encounters you can bet that your social skills could use a little tune-up!
You can learn how to interact more effectively others - it's a learned skill. Yes, some people do seem to just come by it naturally and it is easier for some personalities than others, but believe me - anyone can learn to become socially comfortable.
It's a matter of knowing what to do and then practice, practice, practice!
Allow yourself to feel uncomfortable at first, work through it and soon you will have successes to build on.
Learning better skills will also help you feel more relaxed and self assured as others begin to react positively to you. It becomes an upward spiral!
Go to Social Anxiety Agoraphobia
Return from this Social Phobia page to the Panic And Agoraphobia home page.