IS IT SHYNESS, OR SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER?
Many of us feel self-conscious, or shy in unfamiliar social situations. It’s natural to feel cautious when faced with the unknown. For some, however, the fear of being judged by others can be so powerful that social situations are avoided, or painfully endured. While avoiding provides temporary relief, it can keep you from pursuing your goals, or from making the meaningful connections you so desire. This can further result in feelings of isolation, ineffectiveness, and even depression.
For someone with Social Anxiety Disorder, also known as Social Phobia, the following everyday situations can be so stressful that they are avoided or otherwise endured with extreme discomfort:
Meeting new people
Making small talk
Making eye contact
Talking on the phone
Being the center of attention
Being watched while doing something
Talking with people in authority
Speaking in meetings
Attending a job interview
Going on a date
Going to a party
Eating or drinking in public
Exercising in public
Using public restrooms
Social Anxiety Disorder can seem overwhelming, but it need not run your life. I can help you feel more confident in social interactions using scientifically-based interventions, including cognitive behavioral therapy, and an approach to treatment that is compassionate, flexible, and collaborative. Please visit my specialties page on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for more information.