Anxiety and Shyness

An important part of the process of overcoming Social Anxiety is

doing things you are uncomfortable about.

By talking to people and sharing more of yourself over time, you will slowly unwire the “fight or flight” response in your brain. And over time you will feel less anxious around people. You’ll sweat, shake, tremble or blush less.

One thing’s for sure: you can’t do exposure for social anxiety without other people. You will have to get out of your house and interact with those other talking monkeys you see out the window.

You Will Not Overcome Your Social Anxiety
Without Other People

One thing’s for sure: you can’t do exposure for social anxiety without other people. You will have to get out of your house and interact with those other talking monkeys you see out the window.

Can you talk to other people on your own? Yes, absolutely.

However, a therapist can offer a structured environment to get started with this process more easily. A therapist can also help you stay motivated in facing your fears — you’ll probably take more action than you would on your own to avoid disappointing your therapist. Also, if you take group therapy for social anxiety, then you are getting exposure and practice talking in a more high pressure environment with many people listening.

You Will Also Not Overcome Your Social Anxiety
ONLY Through Exposure

However, having said all this about exposure, let me add…

I went to elementary school, high school and university in Canada for years, and my social anxiety only seemed to get worse and worse with time. Even though I was surrounded by people:

  • My conversation skills didn’t get better (if anything I just became more quiet and awkward),
  • I had no friends or social life,
  • My self esteem just got worse, and
  • I even had periods of depression to add to my SA.

So this much is clear:

Just being around people will not make your social anxiety go away on its own.

You also have to change the way your mind works from the inside out. That’s what finally cured my extreme shyness, quietness and nervousness around people.

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