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Social Anxiety

coc0maccoc0mac Posts: 1,054 Wise Owl

Hello everyone! I thought I’d start a discussion about coping with social anxiety - specifically, what is it and what can we do to help ourselves or others. 

The Mix has a really helpful article about coping with social anxiety which really helps me, and I hope can help a lot of you too. It explains social anxiety as 

“a fear of social situations and an extreme self-consciousness or worry about what people think of them.” I am sure we all know that butterflies in our tummy feeling when walking into situations with unfamiliar people, but for those with social anxiety this feeling might feel constant and overwhelming. It can affect people in all sorts of situations, from talking to strangers on the checkouts to booking an appointment, or even worrying that people they know are judging them or that they don’t actually like them. It can be an exhausting thing, but the great news is there’s lots of things we can all do to make anxiety much easier to cope with. 

The article shares 4 really useful bullet points, as well as advice to speak to your GP:

  1. Do something every day that scares you. We know this sounds like stupidly scary advice but research into social anxiety shows that confronting the thing that frightens us on a regular basis is super effective in reducing anxiety.
  2. It can help to rank difficult situations in order of how anxious they make you feel. Example: No.1. Talking to a stranger on the phone – No.10. Making a speech. Start by confronting the least scary thing on your list and work your way up. There’s no rush to get to number 10.   
  3. Try to remain in a situation until your anxiety reduces by at least half. For example, if you’re at a social event try to avoid hiding in the loos or leaving as soon as you arrive. If you give yourself time for your anxiety to calm down, this should be a real confidence boost.  
  4. Try to focus on the here and now. If you’re at a social event, try to focus on the conversation and the people around you. By doing this you’ll be less focused on yourself and the way you’re acting. This is where something like mindfulness can be really helpful.

I love this advice, however the thing about mental health is that we all cope with things in different ways. Sometimes we have to try a few different techniques until we find what works best for us and that is absolutely okay! So I thought it would be great to share whether any of these tips have worked for you - or if you have any additional advice that you’d like to share! :) 

Comments

  • JamJarJamJar Posts: 274 The Mix Regular
    Hey @coc0mac

    Great shout starting a thread on this topic, I think there might be quite a few different, dynamic perspectives to be offered on this one. 

    There is a TED Talk that I've watched a few times that deals with something similar to your second bullet-point - "fear setting". It's by an American author, called Tim Ferris, who has bipolar depression. In this talk, instead of saying we should set out what our goals are, he says we should set out what scares us the most, what makes us the most anxious.

    https://www.ted.com/talks/tim_ferriss_why_you_should_define_your_fears_instead_of_your_goals?utm_campaign=tedspread&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=tedcomshare

    He has a three-tiered strategy, and the talk is only 13 minutes long but if anyone wants to just skip to the fear-setting section it all kicks off at 6 minutes. 

    Hope people find this useful :)
  • Butterfly23Butterfly23 Posts: 810 Part of The Mix Family
    Hey,

    Thank you for creating this thread, as social anxiety is something that I really struggle with. I think that it would be helpful for a lot of people!

    Butterfly x


  • coc0maccoc0mac Posts: 1,054 Wise Owl
    Hi @JamJar

    Thank you so much for sharing that! I will be watching that for sure. I do think TED talks can be extremely powering and comfortable! 

    and thank you @Butterfly23 - I really hope it helps you as well! you've got this :heart: 
  • Butterfly23Butterfly23 Posts: 810 Part of The Mix Family
    Thank you! @coc0mac
  • Han93Han93 Posts: 309 The Mix Regular

    Hi @coc0mac


    Great thread - these tips are so useful!


    I just wanted to add a blog I've read previously on Mind's website from a guy who has 'social phobia' and the steps he's starting to take to manage it:

    https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/your-stories/lots-of-social-phobia-but-no-friends/#.XWT1qU1YaUk



  • SienaSiena Posts: 15,493 Skive's The Limit
    I love this thread. Thank you for sharing!
    “And when they look at you, they won't see everything you've been through. They won't see the **** that turned to scars that began to fade with time. They won't see the heartbreaking things that shook up and changed your entire world. They won't know how many tears you cried or even what it was you were crying about. They won't see how strong you had to be because you had no other choice. What they will see though is how compassionate you are because you experienced pain. What they will see is how kind you are because you experienced how cruel the world is. What they will see is how good you are because you've seen how bad things or people can be. The difference between you and your experiences are who you choose to be, despite everything that could have turned you cold and unkind.You are the good the world needs and the best of us.” ~ Kirsten Corley
  • coc0maccoc0mac Posts: 1,054 Wise Owl
    Hi @Han93
    Thank you so much! I've just read the blog and I think that could be a huge help for others to read - thank you so much for sharing! 

    And you are more than welcome @Shaunie, I hope it can help in some way! :smile::heart:
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