If we suffer from social anxiety, the stress of common social situations is often too much to handle. Occasions such as entering a room full of people, making eye contact, dating, making small talk, public speaking, or being the center of attention can seem overwhelming. In avoiding social situations, the rest of life may become difficult and reclusive. Thankfully, there are many options that can ease our experience with this common form of anxiety.
Up to 40% of people consider themselves shy. You might say you’re introverted or awkward, or that you’re fine around friends but just can’t speak up in a meeting or at a party. Maybe you’re usually confident but have recently moved or started a new job, only to feel isolated and unsure.
If you are shy or socially anxious, you may dread going to parties, speaking in front of crowds or people you don’t know, going to job interviews, and other critical life situations. You aren’t alone. In fact, studies show that millions of people suffer from a social anxiety disorder.