Debunking Social Anxiety
Updated: Aug 12, 2020
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Social anxiety is not very well understood is commonly thought of as "being shy". The intention of this article is so debunk some the myths around social anxiety.
Myth One: Social anxiety is one size fits all
Contrary to what some may believe, social anxiety is unique to everyone.
Just like we all experience anxiety in different ways, we can experience social anxiety in different ways too.
If you say you have social anxiety it would be worth taking the time to stop and think about what you mean by that.
For instance, some people find public speaking like torture and will avoid it at all costs. But, for them, sitting with a friend in the local coffee house for an hour or two feels very comfortable.
For others the idea of holding a one on one conversation for longer than 5minutes could be excruciating but are able to take the stage and deliver Hamlet's soliloquy with ease.
Myth Two: Social Anxiety is about being shy
Whilst shyness and social anxiety may look the same they are two very different things.
Shyness is being worried about something in the future, social anxiety is the next step where you lose sleep and overthink a social event for days or weeks in advance.
Social anxiety is often accompanied (but not always) with physical symptoms such as racing heart, sweating or shaking.
Being shy is a personality trait which is found at an equal measure throughout someones life. Social anxiety on the other hand can fluctuate.
Myth Three: Extroverts don't get socially anxious
When people are socially anxious they may do the complete opposite to what one might think someone who experiences social anxiety would do.
The loudest person could feel they need to be the most funny in order to get people to like them.
The person who doesn't stop talking may find a lull in conversation awkward as they fear they will be judged and so take up all the room.
The know it all, actually may fear being judged and use their knowledge to impress as a defense mechanism.
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