Saturday, 19 December 2009

Overcome Shyness and Social Anxiety

Contrary to popular belief, people who experience social anxiety are not people who suffer from a lack of self-esteem or who have not learned how to socialize. The difficulties are in fact rooted in a genetic predisposition. However, the secret of overcoming shyness and social anxiety are rooted in developing a different way of thinking about social situations.

Social anxiety develops over time owing to a hyper sensitivity to how other people perceive you. A typical example is that person can become aware of a particular symptom (a hand shaking or blushing perhaps) - perhaps exacerbated by someone pointing it out to you. Subsequent social encounters may well be marked by you trying not to exhibit this same symptom again, which only means that they symptom you are trying to avoid gets worse than it was in the first place. Trying not to feel anxious just does not work. In fact quite the opposite, it only makes matters worse.

People who experience shyness and social anxiety tend to anticipate how other people perceive them. Whilst this can be an asset for many people in modifying behaviour and presentation, people who experience social anxiety find that this takes over and cripples their ability to function in social situations.

Beating social anxiety is about re-training your brain to think differently about social situations and how you view them.

Find out more about overcoming shyness and social anxiety.

Dealing With Confrontation And Social Anxiety

If you experience social anxiety and have to deal with situations of confrontation then you will find that these circumstances go to the heart of your anxieties. You may find yourself struggling to find the right words to say, stuttering your way through the encounter and your throat closing up as you struggle to speak. Perhaps you find yourself avoiding situations that might turn into a disagreement or confrontation.

The best way to overcome this is through practice. This will feel strange at first, but you should persevere if you want to succeed. Start with friends or family and state something that you know will be controversial. Before you start, prepare yourself by vowing that you will not back down, come what may. Make sure that you maintain eye contact. You should recognize that for most people it is not painful and threatening like it is for you. In fact, some people thrive on it. Say to yourself, "It's okay with them if I disagree. They may seem irritated, but that's just how people communicate, it doesn't mean that they don't like me or wish me harm. It's perfectly natural for me to hold to one opinion, while they hold to another". Once you have done this, you progress to acquaintances or strangers.

The next step is to start developing negotiation skills. A starting point for this is to start with a BATNA (Best Alternative to Negotiated Agreement). In other words, you should decide before you start what alternative you will accept. A straightforward example of this is in relation to negotiating over the price of something. The important thing is to develop your position before you start your encounter.

Find out more about dealing with confrontation and social anxiety.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Recognizing the Main Symptoms of Social Anxiety

In order to beat your adversary, you must understand it. So the first step is to understand the symptoms of social anxiety before you can beat it. There are the physical symptoms of course, such as blushing, racing pulse and sweating. These are prompted by social situations being interpreted as dangerous giving rise to a flight or fight response.

People who experience social anxiety do so as a result of a genetic predisposition to developin certain personality traits. These traits have a tendency to make you hypersensitive to what other may be thinking about you. These can result in a number of thought patterns that can paralyze you in certain situations. If you experience social anxiety here are some thought patterns you may recognize:

  • More anxiety about someone noticing your anxiety than about having the anxiety in the first place.

  • Dread of situations in which you could not easily disappear from the spot light if you needed to.

  • People thinking you are, "quiet," when that's not the real you.

  • Being afraid that someone will notice that your voice is shaking, your hand is sweating, your face is blushing, or some other physical sign of anxiety.

  • Wanting to speak up and show people how interesting and smart you can be, only to find that the thought of speaking up is enough to start your heart pounding or your breath to feel like it's been sucked out of you.

  • Find out more about the symptoms of social anxiety and how to beat them

    How to Beat Shyness

    If you have difficulties in dealing with social situations then the first steps in learning how to beat shyness is to understand that the best strategies are concerned with mental attitude. A first step is to think to yourself that it is OK to experience excessive shyness. The more that you worry about your shyness, the more it will become a problem to you. Think about a particular symptom of shyness, blushing for example. The more aware you are that you are blushing, the worse it will become.

    A particular strategy is to think to yourself that you have better things to do than to try and impress people. By decreasing the importance of making the right impression with other people then this quickly ease your shyness as this is often rooted in a fear of making a mistake that would embarrassment and shame.

    Try thinking to yourself that any efforts you make to take yourself outside your comfort zone will pay off later. This will help you feel OK with feeling a little uncomfortable now. This supports the efforts you make in overcoming your social anxiety which will inevitably take you outside of your comfort zone.

    Focus on success. Think to yourself that you will succeed in beating your shyness no matter what it takes. Developing a sense of certainty of success in your endeavors will encrease you chances of success.

    Find out more about how to beat shyness.

    Wednesday, 16 December 2009

    What Are the Causes of Social Anxiety?

    It is a common misconception that people who experience social anxiety are people who have poorly developed social skills or who have low self-esteem. In fact the causes of social anxiety are rooted in the way in which some people have unconciously learned that social situations are a mortal threat triggering a flight or fight response. This can be marked by shaking, racing heartbeat and sweating.

    A typical process for this occuring is that the person experiences a particular symptom - blushing for example. This person becomes aware of this symptom, perhaps exacerbated by someone making a comment about this symptom. When this person is in a similar social position they will be aware of their previous experience and will try not to repeat the symptom, but in fact this only makes it worse and causes that person to become more anxious.

    In order to beat social anxiety, you need to understand the process behind it and how these symptoms manifest themselves.

    Find out more about the causes of social anxiety and how to beat it.