There is nothing more fulfilling than positive interactions with friends and acquaintances. Many studies have shown that those that have experienced great social connections live longer, experience more happiness, and are able to cope better with things like stress and anxiety.
But when you have mild to moderate social anxiety, socializing can be a problem. Moderate social anxiety is a type of social anxiety that doesn’t cause serious, recurring panic attacks in social situations, but does make it very hard to reach out to others socially without serious anxiety.
Overcoming Moderate Social Anxiety Incrementally
The best way to overcome moderate social anxiety on your own is to make small gains incrementally. For example:
- Enhance Close Relationships
If you have a friend that you feel at all close to, spend more time with them. See if you can get closer. It’s been shown that people that feel they have at least one “best” friend find it easier to socialize with others, possibly because they know they have someone supporting them.
- Talk to Anyone You Can – And Speak Up
Talking to others is difficult when you have social anxiety. But you may find that there are some situations where it’s not quite as difficult, such as when a checkout person at the grocery store asks you if you are having a good day. See if you can answer confidently, and say “I’m doing well, how are you?” with a good, confident voice. It’s okay if it feels awkward, but the more you talk to anyone, the more you can leverage that to talking to people in more social situations.
- Combat the Specific Cause of Your Fear
Are you afraid of getting rejected? Are you afraid of embarrassment? Do you simply feel significant anxiety with no specific fear or cause? See if you can address that specific issue. For example, if you fear getting rejected, consider going somewhere and purposely getting rejected from multiple people until it causes less fear. The more you address that fear head on, the easier it may be to feel less overall social anxiety.
Overcoming Social Anxiety is a Process, but ALWAYS Possible
One of the most unique components of social anxiety is that human beings are naturally social creatures, which means that your mind and body want to be able to talk to others. It’s just a matter of finding ways to teach yourself how to do so. If you’re struggling, please give me a call today. I am a Long Island psychologist that has worked with many patients struggling with social anxiety, and I can help teach you some of the tools you need to begin your recovery process.