“I can’t face going to the party”; “Nobody really wants me there”: I won’t enjoy myself”; “It will be too awful”; I’ll make a fool of myself”
If any of these are familiar to you then, like many other people, you are missing out due to Social Anxiety. This is not just limited to big occasions, public speaking etc, even a small family gathering can seem like an ordeal.
Once you learn what is behind your fears you can learn to overcome them and start enjoying your social life.
When you are suffering from Social Anxiety you are, essentially, afraid of what other people will think of you. You worry about others’ opinions and you fear embarrassment, humiliation or rejection. This can lead to you avoiding talking to other people or attending social occasions and can cause such symptoms as stuttering and blushing.
Many people care, to a greater or lesser extent, what others think of them but severe Social Anxiety can be incredibly debilitating. You miss out on events, lose friends, and can even put personal relationships at risk – and imagine the impact it could have on your education or working life..
Where does Social Anxiety come from?
Well firstly, Social Anxiety is not ‘real’. Yes, I know it feels ‘real’ but actually your Social Anxiety is happening inside your head. In reality you create your Social Anxiety as it is just an unhelpful reaction to the beliefs you hold about yourself and other people.
Typically Social Anxiety starts to develop in childhood and it is underpinned by a combination of:
*Parental and other social influences
*Your Psychological Foundations
Once established Social Anxiety is habitual and, worse, it is self fulfilling. Imagine you really cannot avoid attending tomorrow’s party. You are convinced you won’t enjoy yourself, nobody will speak to you, and you will find the whole thing thoroughly miserable! Chances are you won’t be smiling when you get there, will avoid talking to people, and sit in a dark corner. Guess what – you were right, nobody spoke to you and you were bored and miserable. You have reinforced your Social Anxiety ready for next time!
It really doesn’t have to be like this!!
Thrive With Ian can guide you through The Thrive Programme and you will learn to overcome your Social Anxiety. Along the way the new skills you learn will help you overcome any other hurdles that stop you enjoying your life to the full and teach you to Thrive.
Imagine enjoying social events you would previously avoid (Yes, enjoying, not just tolerating). Imagine looking forward to a party, concert, dinner etc rather than dreading it – Now that really is liberating!
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