From knowing more about social anxiety disorder to making assumptions about not being liked, here are a few hidden signs of social anxiety.
“I’m not anti-social. I’m just not social.” ? Woody Allen
Do you feel overwhelmed being judged by others? Do you feel self-conscious in everyday social interactions? Are you not comfortable meeting new people due to fear or anxiety? You may have a social anxiety disorder if you have thought this way for a long time and feel anxious about everyday tasks—such as talking to people at work or school.
Social anxiety disorder is also known as social phobia. It is an intense, constant fear of being watched and judged by others. It may feel awkward and dreadful that people shy away from taking responsibility. It can even make it hard to sustain relationships and friendships.
In other words, a mental health condition developed by fear of grabbing attention or being judged by others in social surroundings. Genetic and environmental factors play an essential role in the occurrence of these symptoms. However, it can be treated. Many therapies, like Talking therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and medications, have effectively helped people to overcome their suffering.
I will quote Stephen Fry‘s lines from “Moab Is My Washpot,” which I read some time ago in Good Reads “It’s not all bad. Heightened self-consciousness, apartness, an inability to join in, physical shame, and self-loathing are not all bad. Those devils have been my angels. Without them, I would never have disappeared into language, literature, the mind, laughter, and all the mad intensities that made and unmade me.”
What is social anxiety disorder?
Social anxiety disorder is a common disorder. Situations that involve being evaluated, judged, or scrutinized can be anxiety-inducing for some. These situations may include public speaking, meeting new people, going on a date, attending job interviews, answering questions in class, or interacting with cashiers in stores.
Everyday activities like eating, drinking, or using a public restroom can also trigger anxiety or fear in individuals. This is often due to worries about being humiliated, judged, or rejected by others.
Some individuals experience anxiety symptoms not during social interactions but rather during performances. This can occur when they speak, compete in a sports game, or play a musical instrument on stage.
Early childhood social anxiety can lead to severe shyness or social avoidance. Females, particularly adolescents and young adults, are more prone to this condition. If not addressed promptly, it can persist for an extended period, even a lifetime.
What are the hidden signs of social anxiety?
Social anxiety harms the body and mind. Eventually causing physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms.
These signs tend to occur in certain social situations. They may include:
- physical symptoms include blushing, sweating, trembling, nausea, increased heart rate, and the mind “going blank.”
- feelings of panic or panic attacks, difficulty making or maintaining eye contact
Analyzing past interactions: Almost all humans have a constant habit of replaying past interactions with others in the head to figure out mistakes we may have made to learn from them.
Preparing in advance: In case of future social interaction, we start to get stressed and prepare for the exchange. This can cause excessive stress and make us feel overburdened.
Assumptions: We often make assumptions that people do not like us; hence we try hard to please them and overgive to ensure we give them a few reasons to like us.
Spotlight: A person with this disorder always feels he is in the spotlight around people. This is not supposed to happen in a good way – in fact, we think that we are watched and judged for who we are.
Offending: We like to circle back to conversations and past interactions to understand if we had said something that may have offended the other person.
As we all know, Social anxiety also grips small children.
However, the symptoms appear in interactions with adults and peers in children. Their feelings of anxiety might appear as follows:
- Crying every now and then
- Throwing tantrums in public
- Freezing or numbness
- Clinging to a parent or caregiver
- Avoid meeting people
- Staying quiet in social gatherings
“Anxiety was born at the very same moment as mankind. And since we will never be able to master it, we will have to learn to live with it— just as we have learned to live with storms.” – Paulo Coelho.
The first step of the treatment is to take action as soon as possible. The aim should be to prevent a severe impact on one’s functioning ability. Fortunately, effective interventions, such as talk therapy, medication, or a combination, are available today. Hence there is always a ray of hope. The sooner one takes it seriously, the better it is. Have you met someone who has the above symptoms?
What is the treatment suggested to that individual? Share your views on this in the comments below. And share this article with the ones who need to read this.
Love from Soul