Social anxiety, often referred to as social phobia, is a fear of social situations.
For some people the fear can be very specific, such as public speaking, or chatting up women.
For others it is all pervasive, and they are scared of social contact with everyone except possibly their own family members.
At the core of most social anxiety is a fear of looking dumb, stupid or inadequate in some way.
As a result, people with social anxiety tend to pay too much attention to evidence of poor performance, and not enough attention to evidence of good performance.
The cognitive behavioural psychotherapy treatment for social anxiety can be fun.
Often it involves putting yourself in increasingly risky social situations and gaining a sense of mastery.
In my own battle with social anxiety, I was scared of looking like an idiot, so I did the only thing I could think off, I learned how to do stand up comedy.
I figured all stand up’s look like an idiot, so if I could face my fear there, I could do it anywhere.
Of course you don’t need to go to such extremes, and I must stress, cognitive behavioural psychotherapy for social anxiety starts at where you are most comfortable, and builds up your skills slowly.
You need to have some courage, but only enough to do the next thing.
If you feel this practical way of dealing with social anxiety might work for you, feel free to get in touch to see if there is a time we could meet.