Do you experience intense anxiety or nervousness when faced with social situations?
Do you fear being judged or criticized?
Are you worried about making mistakes, looking bad or being embarrassed in front of others?
If you answered yes to any of the above, you may be experiencing social anxiety. 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 scrutinized or judged by others.
People with Social Anxiety often experience significant distress in the following situations:
- Being teased or criticized
- Being the center of attention
- Being watched or observed while completing a task
- Having to say something in a formal, public setting
- Meeting people in authority, such as important people or authority figures
- Feeling insecure and out of place in social situations
- Embarrassing easily
- Making eye contact
Social anxiety does not have to interfere with the life you want to live. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy for anxiety. It can help you learn how to recognize and change problematic thoughts and develop skills to help you gain confidence in social situations.
CBT may also include:
- learning social skills to help you feel confident in social situations
- gradual exposures to the situations you fear most to develop the confidence to deal with anxiety-producing situations
Mindfulness might also be used to help you learn to attend differently to your thoughts – instead of trying to change them, learning to live life with them.