Do you fear attending social gatherings and being around people in a group setting? If so, you’re not alone. It turns out that around 18% of the population has the same problem. The cause - Social Anxiety. Surprisingly, 63% of people who live with social anxiety, are not seeking treatment for it. This could be because it is sometimes hard to identify since it’s often brushed off as shyness, introversion, or poor social skills. The good news is that Social Anxiety is easily treatable. Here are a few signs to look for.
1. You Skip Social Events.
You skip events you are interested in, only because you think you will feel awkward. Dancing in the club with friends sounds cool. But you cringe thinking about how stupid you’ll look doing it, so you don’t go. When you think about starting a conversation with someone you don’t know, it turns your stomach. You run scenarios in your mind about how awkward the situation will be and talk yourself out of going even though part of you feels like you should go.
2. You constantly feel Like people are judging you for your appearance.
You’re terrified to change your appearance even slightly. If you have some acne, or a haircut doesn’t turn out how you thought it would, you assume that people will mock you behind your back.
3. You don’t feel like anyone would want to be friends with you.
In your head, you are the least interesting person in the room. You feel like you’ll be the one in the corner watching everyone in groups have fun with each other. Sometimes when you do end up going to events you’re correct. You assume this is due to others thinking you seemed weird rather than recognizing that it might be because you don’t approach anyone.
4. You make excuses for why you’re not in a relationship.
You want to be in a serious relationship, but have a list of reasons for why it’s not happening. You tell yourself you’ll start dating when things slow down at work or when you lose a few pounds. You accept your feelings of loneliness as something that will always exist.
5. You think your coworkers or classmates secretly look down on you.
It seems to you like everyone else gets along great with each other. When you walk in the room, however, you could swear that they are talking about you behind your back or sending you strange looks. You end up avoiding common areas where you could run into other people.
6. You edit your social media updates endlessly before you post them.
You’re over analytical about what you other people will think about what you post on social media. You feel like you’ll look stupid and people will think that you posts are lame.
7. You act differently when you speak confidentially.
If you play any online games or are in a situation where your name and face are anonymous, you experience a level of comfort that is unusual for you. You feel that your true self may be able to come out most easily in a confidential capacity. It’s only then you can relax and not feel people are judging you.
8. You sometimes wish you could be more confident.
But then you conclude it will never happen for one reason or another. You sometimes feel trapped in your life. This can lead to feelings of sadness, hopelessness and even depression.
How To Change It
If any of the above sounds like you, consider seeking treatment for social anxiety. You don’t have to live a life that isn’t one you want to be living. Therapy can help you transform your life, improve your self confidence, and give you the empowerment thats needed for you to chase after your dreams. Make the investment in your mental health. Your future self will thank you.