WHAT IS IT LIKE TO HAVE SOCIAL ANXIETY?
Social anxiety is feeling super sensitive to either real or imagined criticism. What underlies this feeling is an exquisite sensitivity to the feeling of embarrassment. If feeling judged or criticized often trashes your whole day, there is help. If you look back on conversations, and just keep rehashing what went wrong, there is help.
Sometimes the physical part of social anxiety makes you feel sick. A racing heart, shaking hands, dry mouth or blushing–yuk. Do you frequently self-compare to see how you stack up? Does a casually tossed off opinion destroy your day? Or maybe you worry days or weeks before a dreaded presentation, exam, or social engagement. It is very painful to live life through constantly seeking the approval of others. The shame involved can be crippling.
SELF MEDICATING WITH ALCOHOL
There are some people who are shy, but many are not, and have excellent social skills. They just have concerns with the size of group interactions they face. They may function just fine in small groups or one-on-one, but panic in large classes, meetings, or work related presentations. Self medicating with alcohol in social situations is something all too common used to cope.
It is possible to manage social anxiety. If this is an issue you face, and it is disrupting your life, or keeping you from opportunities you might otherwise choose, shoot me an email. You don’t have to fight the anxiety; there are better ways that leave you in charge instead of the anxiety.