Hola Amigos!! Hope all of you are doing well. I talk a lot about phobias and mental health, today’s article is also about a very common phobia, Social Anxiety Disorder.
Do you feel uncomfortable while doing a presentation in front of your boss and colleagues or in front of your fellow students in your university, or going to a party, bar, club seems like a punishment for you ? If so, then it is a phobia,known as Social anxiety disorder or social phobia.
Social phobia is probably the most common phobia, it involves the fear of embarrassment and humiliation when we are exposed to a group of people or in a situation when we have to perform.
Sometimes it is worse, some people try to avoid social gatherings, parties, clubs, presentations, on the other hand some others manage performing in front of others although the anxiety is there. The cause behind this phobia is very simple, people who are suffering from social anxiety disorder are more concerned and afraid of other people’s perceptions. A person having this phobia thinks of what if he or she is caught in such an act which will make them an object of laugh for others. Their concern is that they will do or say something that will cause others to judge them as being anxious, weak, poor and stupid.
Social phobia is more common in people who speak in front of others, for example singers, performers, people whose job needs to make presentations or students who speaks in front of class. Some of the most common symptoms of social phobia are sweating, increased heart rate, trembling, hiding from others or sitting in a corner to escape others etc.
How to deal with this ???
There are many treatments for social phobia, for example medication, cognitive therapy, relaxation, but I think the most effective way to remove social phobia, that has also helped me doing presentations during my university years, is exposure to the situation in which we feel anxious.
- Exposure involves gradually and incrementally facing the situations, we are phobic of. Let’s take an example of public speaking such as doing PPT presentations, you can start with speaking in front of a friend or only one person. First of all speak for one minute in front of one or two people, after doing this for a few days, add 2 to 4 people and increase the time of speaking, again after a few days increase the time and audience. It helped me a lot.
- If your phobia is being exposed to people in social gatherings, parties, clubs, then the first thing you must know is that nobody cares about your presence or absence, how do you eat or drink, how do you dress yourself, all are busy in their own world and most probably they are also having the same phobic thoughts like you but somehow they have managed themselves. In this case learning social skills such as making eye contact, smiling, maintaining a conversation, self disclosure and active listening can make a great difference.
- People with social phobia focus more on how they’re doing their task, they try to notice other prople’s reaction while they’re speaking in social situations, try to avoid this and focus on your task or whatever you want to say.
- Be assertive, directly ask what you want, in a party or social gatherings, clubs etc walk straight, do not hunch over, it is a sign of surrenderness, lack of confidence.
- Some people take alcohol to feel more confident in situations where they have to perform or expose themselves, alcohol is not the solution, on the contrary it will make you an alcoholic. So do not rely on alcohol.
Image Credit : Internet
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