Does your ear turn red when asked to speak in a room?
My ears used to go red if I were to address a few people in a room. I always use to sit with my hands tightly clasped, voice quivering, knees held together. Body language said it all. Anxiety all over my face, yet I was “normal”. The constant fear of being judged for every single move I made, or word I would have said never let me be “me”. Constant self-scanning was not allowing the natural person in me to take the centre stage of my life. Social anxiety was all over and around me.
Is there any awareness regarding social anxiety at large. Does the society have the skills to label it as a human disorder. Are we ready to support people who undergo this with compassion and love and understanding. Well, times are changing. Society is trying to be more acceptable and approachable for people undergoing social anxiety.
Honestly, people with social anxiety think that others talk about them only all the time, but do people really care. Or is that we make a whole lot of self-presumptions, or say attach a lot of importance to our actions. An intelligent person rightly said.
“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you
if you realised how seldom they do”
A very popular movie star, once confessed on a chat show, that just stuck to my head,
“I get ready, am certain that I will bag the award for best actor at the awards night, and then something comes over me and I suddenly withdraw myself and send my wife alone instead. – “Anonymous celebrity”.
The host of the show looked at him, paused and said, “I think you have social anxiety.” I was very young when I watched this show and thus it has always been there at the back of my mind. For me, this was just a word, but for many others, it was a disorder that had cut them off from living a normal life. When a socially anxious individual anticipates going to an event, he becomes quite anxious, but then when he decides not to go the anxiety immediately decreases.
What is the Literal Meaning of Social Anxiety?
Social anxiety can be defined as nervousness in social situations; social anxiety is the fear of being negatively judged and evaluated by other people. It is the fear of social situations that involve interaction with other people.
When you feel socially anxious then it feels as though the personality is locked up inside a box of one own self, and that box doesn’t open until one is alone. It’s saddening that one can’t find a way to show anyone that they actually are a good company, funny … intelligent… good company. Social anxiety pulls a person down, doesn’t let the natural character of the person come out. The fear of being judged always overpowers him. The people having anxiety issues generally isolate themselves and then become upset about the fact that they are lonely. And they are exhausted from trying to be stronger than they feel.
Every question has an answer and social anxiety also comes with a plethora of solutions. The issue is best tackled when transparency is practiced rather than withheld. Certain pointers to ponder over.
Ways To Overcome Social Anxiety.
Acceptance of your own self.
Love me, hate me, but take me the way I am. This attitude will help you sail through rough waters. If you live for people’s acceptance, you will die from their rejection. Any person who suffers from anxiety must love him first. He must realize that’s it’s okay to be an introvert. He is contributing in maintaining a balance between outgoing and self contained people. After all, you need someone who can listen to all those talkative souls there!
You have company.
Yes! You are not the only soul on this earth who feels or behaves in such a manner. There are many of us who co-exist and its fine to have such inhibitions. We’re all in the same game, just different levels. People do not bring this issue openly in public. Withholding won’t do any good to them. Medical help goes a long way to overcome this disorder. Seek help, it’s the need of the hour.
People having social anxiety must move out of their comfort zone. They have to learn as to when to be aggressive and when to be patient. And this is the biggest challenge they face. Self-blaming becomes the easiest route for them. “I say sorry a lot, mostly because I feel everything is my fault”. One must move on and let go oneself out of this self-blame. It does not do any good to us. Don’t criticise people and at the same time don’t give anyone the right to do this to you also. And self-criticism which is followed widely n blindly by people having social anxieties should immediately stop. Practice self-rewarding yourself, not performing a postmortem of all your actions.
Once a person has identified his problems and challenged his mindset and thoughts, he should be encouraged to focus on the present and think realistically than fear future outcomes. The whole process of remaining present and focused to the situation helps to a great extent. A hierarchy of fear chart should be made with “panic attack” having 0 score and a “no anxiety” having the score of a perfect 10.
Social anxiety can be very well handled if treated with the right attitude. Get rid of the special talent, of jumping to the worst conclusion possible and worrying about those things for hours. Be happy and happiness would never leave you.
Let’s show some love and work together towards a happy perfect life.