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Social Anxiety

Social Anxiety is a disorder chiefly characterized by a fear of being judged, rejected, criticized or embarrassed. It can be accompanied by a fear of the anxiety being visible to others through things such blushing, shaking, sweating or stuttering. Physical symptoms of anxiety are usually present in triggering situations. These can include rapid heart beat, racing thoughts, shaking or trembling, lightheadedness and nausea. Those who suffer with social anxiety typically have strong urges to avoid situations that will likely be anxiety-provoking. It the second most common anxiety disorder in America with average onset occurring in the teen years.

Common Triggering Situations

  • attending a work meeting

  • presenting at work or in class

  • ordering at a restaurant

  • answering a phone call

  • performing in front of others

  • being in the spotlight

  • receiving an award or recognition in front of others

Unhelpful Habits for Relief

  • avoidance

  • making excuses to get out of events or meet ups

  • attending an event with someone else rather than alone mostly to eliminate the anxiety of going alone

  • overpreparing for presentations or conversations

  • using alcohol or drugs to cope with anxiety when in a triggering situation

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