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Social anxiety- it is more than being ‘shy’

Social anxiety is when individuals fear speaking in public and choose to avoid social interaction due to this fear. It is a phenomenon very less spoken about mainly due to fear of judgment. Many people cannot express themselves entirely in front of friends and family especially in social settings where public interaction is required such as parties or get together. 

Symptoms of social anxiety:

Less interest in visiting any social event

Previously entertaining parties may now be causing anxiety, hence giving rise to disinterest in the get-together and increased social isolation.

Continuously looking after your appearance

A constant pressure of maintaining decent and proper appearance due to fear of social judgment or fear of disapproval from peers can create feelings of being insufficient and less accepted in the social circle. This can make an individual conscious of one’s looks all the time and create social anxiety.

You may not feel like having conversations

Reduced interest in social interactions and lesser confidence of being able to put your point forward. For example, there is a meeting with all of your friends and closed ones, but you hesitate to start the conversation or even continue an ongoing discussion with them. You think twice before speaking anything because you may be quite anxious about what someone else will think about you.

Less interest in making new friends

This is one of the prominent symptoms seen in every person who has social anxiety. You try to keep your circle small. Even after you have attended a party where there are lots of amazing people, there is always a hesitation in you to go and talk to them.

You are always excuse ready!

When in social anxiety, you become a master in making excuses. You keep on telling people that you have lots of work to do, although you are just free doing nothing at home. Always having an excuse built up in your mind to tell your friends.

Too much thought and contemplation before posting a picture:

The constant fear of judgment even on social media posts leading to excessive editing of pictures and worrying about every like, dislike or comment. People and crowds make you anxious and so as social media. Either you don’t have a social media account, or if you do have, you just keep it for the sake of viewing others. If you ever feel like posting any picture, you would edit it multiple time to stay assured on your part.

Experiencing symptoms of panic when in social situations:

Symptoms of panic in social situations such as dry mouth, sweating, hot or cold flushes, loss of words, and increased fear and anxiety to interact are common exereinces for someone who may be going through social anxiety.

Reduced self-confidence:

Whenever you write your exam or go out for an interview, there’s a lot of self-doubts. Sometimes you may be good than other people, but your self anxiety disorder is ruining you up. 

Treatment- Getting yourself out of it:

Many times we tend to mistake shyness for social anxiety and vice versa but it is to be understood that there lays a difference between the two. Shyness doesn’t give you the symptoms that social anxiety does in terms of the ones mentioned above. Moreover, if you can relate to these symptoms it may be the right time to seek help. 

Social anxiety can cause you to lose out on many aspects of life and might even hinder you from thriving to your fullest potential. Working through social anxiety alone can be difficult but thankfully help is available and it is only your choice to help yourself out of it. 

You can do so by seeking help from a professional counsellor in the field and notable changes will appear in no time. Help us to help you be more self-confident and less socially awkward or anxious.

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