How Can A Shy Person Improve Their Communication Skills
Always allow a few days beforehand to rehearse. When it comes developing your communication skills practice makes perfect. Use your partner, kids or even your dog to present to at home. You can also present to yourself in the mirror or set up a camera and film yourself presenting so you can see how you come across.
When To Worry About Physical Symptoms Of Anxiety
Social anxiety disorders can also lead to physical symptoms. You might experience blushing, sweating, or a subjective sensation of feeling suddenly cold or warm, says Dr. Potter. You might also have physical tension, which could cause aches and pains, like a stomachache. You can also experience symptoms associated with panic, even if you dont have a full-blown panic attack. Panic symptoms are your heart beating fast, shortness of breath, a subjective feeling of losing control or a fear of sudden, impending doom, says Dr. Potter. People with social anxiety will typically experience some of these symptoms, including at a lower threshold, too.
Determining whether these symptoms are from anxiety, or a more serious medical condition can be difficult. If the pain goes away quickly after the anxiety-provoking situation has stopped, and if you have a subjective sense of knowing that you are currently afraid of something, then its more likely what you are feeling is probably anxiety, says Dr. Potter. But if youre in doubt, you should definitely talk to a doctor about it and get advice on specific signs to look out for and what your risk factors are. If you have a known heart condition, this advice is even more important. You want to be much more careful about seeking medical care for any of these types of symptoms, she says. And if you have cardiac conditions and you have anxiety, you should talk to your doctor about how to differentiate the two.
Symptoms Of Social Anxiety
Social anxiety is more than shyness. It’s a fear that does not go away and affects everyday activities, self confidence, relationships and work or school life.
Many people occasionally worry about social situations, but someone with social anxiety feels overly worried before, during and after them.
You may have social anxiety if you:
- worry about everyday activities, such as meeting strangers, starting conversations, speaking on the phone, working or shopping
- avoid or worry a lot about social activities, such as group conversations, eating with company and parties
- always worry about doing something you think is embarrassing, such as blushing, sweating or appearing incompetent
- find it difficult to do things when others are watching you may feel like you’re being watched and judged all the time
- fear being criticised, avoid eye contact or have low self-esteem
- often have symptoms like feeling sick, sweating, trembling or a pounding heartbeat
- have panic attacks, where you have an overwhelming sense of fear and anxiety, usually only for a few minutes
Learn To Control Your Breath
There are some physical changes that can happen when you have anxiety. This can include dizziness or increased heart rate and muscle tension, which will tend to happen from losing the control of your breath from anxiety.
If you can learn to control your breath, you will then start to reduce and ease the physical symptoms, making your anxiety easier to control.
You should then start to feel a lot calmer, which will help you to start thinking rationally about what it is you are having anxiety about. A great way to control your breathing is by learning some breathing techniques, which you can also learn using hypnotherapy.
Overcoming Shyness And Social Phobia
Shyness, , affects most people at some time in their life. Young people in particular find overcoming shyness difficult as they improve their social skills. And for some, shyness seems to persist into adult life, almost as if it has become a ‘habit’.
Shyness has its roots in self consciousness and usually dissipates as people mature and become more experienced. However, for some it can ‘stick’, and then action is required.
Although most people think in terms of ‘overcoming shyness’, it is more likely that you will become comfortable in social situations by learning the strategies of self confidence along with social skills. Then, shyness is no longer the issue, as social nerves will melt away as a new ‘habit’ takes their place.
You May Like: Does Anxiety Make Your Blood Pressure Go Up
Try It Out: Practice Turning The Conversation
A common anxiety many people have is that they believe they have nothing interesting to say, or will make a fool of themselves in conversation. Horn recommends overcoming this fear by practicing mindful listening.
One of the easiest ways that we can practice active listening and avoid a conversation dead-end is to make sure that we are turning the conversation more than were taking it, he says.
For example, if someone says they ate at a new restaurant, we might respond with, Oh, I went there last weekend and had the pasta. What did you try? instead of, Oh, I went there last weekend. It was ok. If we commit to turning the conversation back three and four times, were going to peel off those layers and get more depth out of our conversations, Horn says.
Shyness Versus Social Phobia
It is my personal opinion that social phobia is too often diagnosed when people are simply experiencing natural shyness. It is perfectly natural to be a little timid in a situation where you don’t yet know the ‘rules’, or what to do. In fact, most people experience some degree of nerves when, say going to meet friends, especially if it is somewhere they haven’t been before, or someone new will be there.
We have to be very careful not to assume that there is something wrong with this. Social nerves are natural, as long as they don’t get out of hand. Focusing on them and making them into a ‘big thing’ will only make matters worse.
When learning about social situations, young people need the chance to find their own way, without being labeled with ‘social phobia’. This is not to say that social phobia does not exist I know it does because I have worked with people suffering from it. However, in the vast majority of cases, the solution is social skills training, and perhaps relaxation and rehearsal, rather than drugs.
If a person can maintain a degree of calmness in a situation, then they are much more likely to be able to learn about how the situation works. However, if they are highly anxious and internally focused, both their emotional state and focus of attention will make it more difficult to pick up on subtle social cues.
Read Also: How Do You Stop Having Panic Attacks
How Effective Are Treatments
- Pure self-help, using books without a therapist, seems to help some people a bit, but it doesn’t reduce the impact of the social phobia on their life. This may be a good choice if your anxiety about social situations is troublesome, but doesn’t stop you from doing too many things
- Self-help with group meetings seems to work better, but is relatively new.
- Graded self-exposure seems to work for about half the people who finish the course – but quite a few people don’t complete it.
- CBT seems to be better than SSRI medication and should be provided before medication is tried.
If you want to find out more about social phobia, here is a list of self-help organisations, books, websites and other materials that you may find useful:
Treat Yourself With Self
Try not to worry so much about saying the wrong thing. Anyone can goof up a few things and you are not an alien who knows how to perfect every time you open your mouth.
When you see yourself as a normal human, with self-compassion, you realize it is not as bad as you think it is.
Self-forgiveness is also an important quality to have, especially to save yourself from the regrets of blurting out certain things you later feel you should not have.
Remind yourself, I forgive myself. I learned from it and I will move on with this lesson.
The most crucial part of handling your shyness is giving yourself love.
Self-love is assuring yourself with words of comfort, affection, and kindness.
Gestures of self-love can calm down your anxiousness. It can be a simple thing as telling yourself,
Hey, lets go get a great cup of mocha.
Are You Shy Or Are You Just An Introvert
Do you consider yourself an introvert? Maybe you just prefer social interactions in mellow settings or you simply enjoy your own company doing things that you choose not to share with the world. Your solitary attitude may make you seem shy and reserved, but theres nothing wrong with it. Thats just who you are!
However, you may need to reconsider when you notice that your behavior towards social interactions is negatively impacting your daily life.
For example, youre feeling too concerned about going to an event at work, knowing that there will be lots of colleagues and higher-ups attending. You decide not to go, but this causes you to lose networking opportunities that are important for your career. This means that youve let social anxiety hold you back from living your life and achieving your goals.
Introverts are not the only ones who may suffer from episodes of social anxiety. Perhaps, a social butterfly whos always the life of the party might clam up when meeting the family of their partner. Or, your most talkative friend might turn down a dinner invitation when they dont know anyone who’ll be there.
Feeling socially anxious can happen to anyone. If you’re struggling with this feeling, know that you are not alone.
Don’t Miss Out On Happiness!
Thrive under stress and crush your goals with these 10 instant tips for your mental health.
Tip : Make An Effort To Be More Social
Actively seeking out supportive social environments is another effective way of challenging your fears and overcoming social anxiety. The following suggestions are good ways to start interacting with others in positive ways:
Take a social skills class or an assertiveness training class. These classes are often offered at local adult education centers or community colleges.
Volunteer doing something you enjoy, such as walking dogs in a shelter, or stuffing envelopes for a campaignanything that will give you an activity to focus on while you are also engaging with a small number of like-minded people.
Work on your communication skills. Good relationships depend on clear, emotionally-intelligent communication. If you find that you have trouble connecting to others, learning the basic skills of emotional intelligence can help.
Recommended Reading: How To End Eating Disorders
How Many People Deal With Shyness And Social Anxiety
Social anxiety is a common condition that can affect a big part of the population. In this study, young individuals from different countries around the world were assessed for social anxiety. It was found that 36% of them met the criteria for Social Anxiety Disorder
In addition, 18% of the respondents did not consider themselves socially anxious but actually met or exceeded the threshold for SAD. This only proves that social anxiety is more prevalent than most people think, whether they are aware of it or not.
This study also found that the majority of a sample of college students occasionally experience symptoms of social anxiety. These symptoms include shaking, sweating, and difficulty expressing oneself. This shows that social anxiety is not rare but rather a common experience among the general population.
Always Think Before Speak
Its not that shy human beings are usually silent, they may be just taking time to well known their thoughts, Henderson says. Shy people apprehend what they may be thinking proper away and they stop to mirror on it. This addiction can be good or horrific, but by practicing mindfulness, Henderson says it is smooth to show these thoughts into something positive. It was typically thought that most effective people who had poor thoughts about themselves are humans with clinical conditions, however with so many studies now on mindfulness, we know we are all having an automatic mind, she says.
These instant thoughts, Henderson explains, are why shy human beings assume before they communicate, which could occasionally stumble upon in a bad manner. People who sense shy can find it disturbing that different human beings dont renowned those automated thoughts all of us have about ourselves and our surroundings, she explains.
Recommended Reading: Can Anxiety Cause You To Throw Up
Read Also: How To Treat Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Embrace Your Vulnerability And Be Open About It
Introverts are reluctant to share their personal information with others.
Knowing this, and establishing a pattern to respond when asked about your personal details, will help you avoid shy and irritable responses.
You can use your introverted and shy qualities to your advantage. Embrace you are an introvert into your entire existence.
Be authentic about who you are. Show them how introverts are superb at listening.
This will give them something to take away from the conversation.
When asked uncomfortable questions, you lean into it:
I dont want to share that information with you.
Why do you want to know?
Act Confidently And Be Bold
When I was learning the cars driving. First I was hesitated and frightened. But when I just went for it, I got it and felt good and confident. I am bold now to run my car at 120 speeds. Social confidence is just like that. You can overcome shyness by doing actions like talking in public and taking part in various social works. Be bold all are the same humans like you. One day you will be able to deliver a speech from highly crowded platforms.
Also Check: Why Do Some People Develop Ptsd
What Causes Shyness And Social Anxiety
The causes of social anxiety can vary for everyone, but it generally occurs when we avoid social situations due to our fear of negative evaluation from others. This negative evaluation can be experienced with the following emotions and feelings:
As an example, I myself experience social anxiety too sometimes. I consider myself shy, especially in new environments where I encounter or interact with unfamiliar people or those that I cant easily relate with. I still struggle with this and it makes it hard for me to form stronger connections and expand my circle.
Recently, I had a breakthrough during one of my psychological assessments where I found out that my social anxiety stems from my experience in high school when I transferred to a new school. I realized that my shy personality developed when I was thrown into a bigger and more intimidating environment where my classmates were older and smarter than I was. I was way out of my comfort zone, and my coping mechanism was to retreat from social interactions. It was my defense mechanism, as I didnt want to risk feeling different, judged, or rejected.
I still carry this up to this day, but finding out the root of my social anxiety now helps me to combat it. As my assessor told me, to get through this, I only have to remind myself that I am no longer in high school.
Ask Your Support System For A Helping Hand
It can be embarrassing or humbling to admit to people in your life that youre anxious in social situations and might need help. However, letting a friend or loved one know you might need some extra support can be a major boost. Many times, people are going to feel more comfortable if theyre in a social situation with somebody that theyre close to, Dr. Potter says. Especially if somebody has been fairly isolated in recent times, it can be helpful at first to have a buddy when you go back into a social situation.
The key to this support is helping an anxious person become more independent over time. Eventually, people with more generalized social anxiety will find it uncomfortable to go shopping or order food by themselves, Dr. Potter explains. You want to balance supporting a person and encouraging them to do it themselves.
If youre a friend or family member of somebody anxious in social situations, one way to offer support is to bring them into the conversation. You might be like, Oh, I think Sara has something she would probably like to say on that subject. Shes really interested in that, Dr. Potter says. You can support them by bringing them out of their shells. Before doing that, however, be sure to ask the person if thats OK. If youre a person with social anxiety, you may not like being put on the spot to say something. Talk to that person in advance about how they want to handle certain things.
Also Check: What Are The Different Types Of Phobias
Understanding Shyness And Social Anxiety
When our anxiety gets the best of us, its difficult to connect with new people. Heres how to be more present.
Confidence is a quality that many of us wish we could have more ofespecially when were in a new place, or with a group of people that we dont know very well. For some, confidence appears to come naturally. But what about the rest of us?
According to Andrew Horn, the founder of Dreams for Kids DC, much of confidence comes from our sense of presence.
Presence is that embodied existence in the moment, its when youre only responding and reacting to whats happening right now, Horn says. Theres no story from the past, theres no fear of the future, and its a magical thing when we can create that in conversation.
Heres how you can soothe social anxiety, and uncover your confidence: