It is normal to feel nervous before meeting someone new or before a gathering. Social anxiety is more than that and people living with it start to find even everyday social interactions difficult.
Symptoms of social anxiety
- intense fear of being judged negatively
- fear of embarrassing or humiliating yourself
- worry others will notice you look nervous
- fear of people noticing physical symptoms of your anxiety – for example blushing, shaky voice, fidgeting
- avoiding situations where you will interact with others
- After a social interaction going over it in your head worrying about what you said, how you acted and how you came across to others
Social anxiety can have a serious impact on all areas of your life with people struggling to work, interact with family or even go to the shops in some cases.
Causes and risk factors
- being bullied either as a child in school or later on as an adult
- family history – it seems to run in families
- childhood traumas
- having a visible difference – people who have an appearance or medical condition that draws attention can be more likely to develop social anxiety.
Social anxiety can then cause other issues for example people might start drinking to relieve nerves in social situations but then develop a dependency on alcohol. Or they might end up feeling isolated because they avoid meeting others.
You don’t have to live like this.
Counselling can help
Counselling is a safe place to explore all your troubling feelings. I know that people who have social anxiety often feel ashamed of themselves and as if they aren’t valuable. This isn’t true! I promise to be a safe person you can be yourself. I will gently challenge you to look at things from a different perspective and help you grow to love yourself and build confidence.
Some techniques I use are
Hypnotherapy can help relieve anxiety and help you feel more positive about social interactions in future. We can also look at past traumas (eg bullying) in hypnotherapy and use techniques to reduce the strong feelings surrounding the memories
Cognitive Behavioural therapy
Many people with social anxiety have unhelpful thinking styles and focus on the negative parts of social interactions.
- you remember vividly the one time you said something a bit stupid and beat yourself up for it constantly
- you think everyone is judging you negatively
CBT helps you look at these thoughts and come up with a more balanced way of seeing it. For more on CBT click here
If you’d like to know more – I offer a free 20 minute phone consult to see if counselling will help or feel free to email me at email@example.com
My name is Anna and I have experienced social anxiety myself so I understand first hand how horrible it can be. I have worked with many clients living with anxiety and I love seeing people’s lives change as they are freed from anxiety holding them back.
I work with clients either face to face in my office in Birkenhead, Wirral or online over zoom or via telephone.
Anna from Relax Therapies
For more information about counselling with me click here