Overcoming Social Anxiety / Social Phobia
- Are you worried about how others will perceive and judge you in social situations?
- Are you afraid to speak with strangers?
- Are you generally uncomfortable at crowded parties?
- Do you feel uneasy around how to keep a conversation flowing?
Social anxiety and discomfort is a growing issue for many in our society, as we continue to take our social interactions online. Although we are becoming better at texting, we are becoming more hesitant around face-to-face communication with others. Even those that live in crowded urban settings feel often lonely and alone despite being surrounded by people. Through working together, we can explore the root of your worries around social interactions, and help you become more confident with others. You can learn to feel more comfortable starting a conversation with someone next to you on the metro, asking someone out, or joining a new group or activity.
Anxiety can have many negative impacts in our daily lives, but it’s actually trying to help and protect us. Its original function is survival, serving as an alarm system, warning us of danger and of possible potential threats. In today’s world, anxiety is often felt in a debilitating and confusing way, where it is far more intense than what was once needed by its original function. We ruminate, we worry, we catastrophize, we obsess. Our lives become more difficult, narrowly-focused, and shrink before our eyes.
Anxiety can manifest in many forms:
- Butterflies in the stomach
- Ruminations in the mind
- Panic attacks
- Fear of leaving home
When anxiety is out of control, it can become problematic in multiple ways:
- Fear of rejection can keep you isolated and lonely
- Fear of judgment leads to your being silenced
- Fear of losing your relationships can cause you to hold on to abusive ones
- Fear of death and loss of control can deprive you of a full life, by avoiding things such as flying or leaving the house
While anxiety can take many forms, we cannot rid ourselves of it. Just like we will never rid ourselves of happiness or sadness. The goal is to learn when anxiety has a purpose, and when it’s simply preventing you from facing your present situation. Through our work together you will learn how to more adaptively speak to your fears, so that you can have power over them, instead of the other way around.