Social Anxiety

Q: What is Social Anxiety?

Social Anxiety is when you avoid interacting with others because you’re self-conscious or because you’re afraid of being judged or evaluated.

For some people, social anxiety is not a big deal. They are able to overcome it to the point where they can interact with enough people to serve their needs. However, for others, social anxiety can be pretty debilitating. These people really suffer as they find themselves unable to make friends, have any sort of social life, and sometimes even accomplish important day to day tasks that require them to interact with others.

Q: What causes Social Anxiety?

Social Anxiety can be caused by a few things.

Sometimes it’s the result of a few well timed incidents where someone experienced bad outcomes from social interaction. That then snowballed into a pattern where they started to feel afraid of interacting, that fear then made them act in a forced an unnatural manner, and they therefore felt even more afraid. As time when on and they started interacting less and less with people, their fear increased and their social skills increased to the point where even trying to speak to someone is a herculean effort.

For others, their social anxiety is a manifestation of their general levels of low self confidence, low self esteem, and shame. These people have a sense that there is something ‘wrong’ with them that others will pick up on and judge them and reject them.

Q: I think I’m just naturally shy, do I need therapy?

There is no question that temperament can play a big role in how much we interact with others. As with all issues, the question is if the way we are acting is helping us live the life we want or if it’s getting in the way. If your ‘issue’ is not getting in the way of living the life you want, then there is no reason to go to therapy. If it is, that’s when it might be useful to seek help.

Q: Can therapy help?

In many cases it certainly can. If you do choose to come to therapy for your social anxiety, we will start by analyzing your anxiety to figure out what exactly is going on. Once we are able to identify the mechanisms and patterns of your specific anxiety we will target those and work to help you achieve your goals.

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