Also known as Social Phobia, a person who experiences this sort of anxiety has excessive worry about how they come across to others. Whilst all of us have varying degrees of social anxiety, from going for an interview to chatting in a group, the characteristics of social phobia are:
Persistent fear of social or performance situations. Individual fears he/she will act in a way which will be humiliating or embarrassing.
Exposure to above situations almost always provokes anxiety.
Fear is recognised as excessive or unreasonable
Feared situations are avoided or endured with intense distress
Recognizing Social Phobia
Many people who have social phobia have thought of themselves as very shy or have been viewed by others as simply being shy. Most sufferers do not seek therapy and those who do may present with generalized anxiety, panic attacks or depression. Key characteristics associated with social phobia are avoidance and developing ways to feel psychologically safe, or safety behaviors.
Overcoming Social Anxiety or Phobia
This condition usually starts in childhood or early adulthood. It may be linked with a specific event or it might be that people who were shy as children never outgrew it. Increased self knowledge through counselling may help a person shift away from the excessive self-focused attention that maintains social phobia. For some people, CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy), works well to help a person face social situations in order to dis confirm the negative assumptions they make about others.