What is Social Anxiety?
Social Anxiety is a fear of social situations that involve interactions with other people. If you have Social Anxiety you tend to worry about being judged badly by other people - being criticized, "put down" or embarrassed.
How common is it?
Social Anxiety is equally common in men and women and is found across different cultures. Approximately 3 percent of the population suffer from Social Anxiety.
A much larger percentage of the population describe themselves as shy. In addition, many people in the general population report fear associated with public speaking, and anxiety associated with other social situations such as meeting new people and dealing with criticism.
Most of these people would not be identified as having Social Anxiety, however, unless the fear and avoidance significantly interfered with their life.
Some people with Social Anxiety fear only a few situations where they might be the center of attention. Others, suffering from generalized Social Anxiety, fear many situations. It is very common for Social Anxiety to develop as a bi-product of other anxieties such as Panic Disorder or Generalised Anxiety Disorder.
If you have Social Anxiety, you usually worry that others will notice your anxiety because of your blushing, sweating, shaking, or difficulty getting your words out, (for example).
Other fears triggered by social situations include:
· I'll look uncomfortable or awkward
· I'll seem weird or strange
· I'll appear stupid or incompetent
· I'll look embarrassed
· I'll be boring
These fears tend to be triggered when just anticipating the social situation. You may also have noticed that, after the event, you often feel bad or worse when thinking about how you "performed". How you actually felt in the situation can play a big role in this "post-mortem".
For more information on how CBT can address your anxiety, please feel free to get in touch today via our facebook or website. We would love to hear from you.