Shyness And Social Anxiety: The differences between social anxiety and shyness can be unclear for some people. This article aims to clear up the confusion. With the right awareness, you can overcome social anxiety and shyness.
The main difference between the two is with regards to the level of intensity. Social anxiety is more severe than shyness due to the extreme physical responses and the ways these responses hold people back from living their lives as normal. Intense fear of social situations will cause physical symptoms such as sweating, heart palpitations, dry mouth, and shaking. People with strong anxiety will avoid certain social situations more than others out of their fears, often feeling debilitated by their condition.
What can you do to stop constant anxiety and fear? Is it possible to stop panic attacks without medication?
Shyness is a milder feeling of being uncomfortable and/or awkward in social situations. The degrees of shyness a person experiences can vary, as well as come and go over time. Some people feel shy only with strangers, while some feel shy with only romantic partners or friends. Of course, there are some people who are shy in only unfamiliar social situations with anyone involved. Whatever the situation may be, people dealing with shyness are less affected.
Challenges to Overcome Social Anxiety and Shyness
People struggling with these have difficulty approaching other people, carrying conversations, public speaking, and standing up for themselves. The challenges can be endless for some people. There are many life skills and experiences that shy and socially anxious people miss out on because they are not getting the help they need to overcome their problems.
Situations become challenges due to the brain’s wired responses to react in certain ways. These automatic responses are strengthened over time unless the person is exposed to fearful situations, which “re-wires” the brain to adapt more positively in the future.
Treatment to Overcome Social Anxiety and Shyness
Psychiatrists and therapists agree that cognitive behavioral therapy is a successful method for each condition. Learning from other people who have difficulty in similar areas is also a good place to start, especially if the sufferer is feeling alone in their situation. Feelings can be relieved temporarily through relating to others and sharing techniques that work.
More specifically, exposure therapy is considered to be one of the most effective ways to re-wire the brain in social situations. Both shy and socially anxious people need to be put into challenging situations that make them feel nervous, so they can overcome the nervous feelings. This method can be done with the guidance of a therapist or in a self-help manner with the right tools.
While there is one main difference between social anxiety and shyness, most of the characteristics are similar. Each requires education and awareness, and appropriate treatment is needed to overcome social anxiety and shyness.
Overcoming social anxiety is a big step in every person’s life.
It’s not something that happens overnight, but it’s not something that will take forever to happen either. The time it takes will greatly depend on how serious your fears are and how determined you are to conquer them. If you want to know the tricks to overcoming social anxiety, read on!
Step 1: Stop Thinking Negative Thoughts.
Stop thinking about how you never get the time of day or how you’re sure people are going to laugh at your accent. Stop thinking that you’re only setting yourself up for total embarrassment or that nobody will listen to you when you talk. All these negative thoughts are only messing up your game. Instead, you should keep your thoughts positive. Why don’t you create your own positive mantra and repeat it to yourself several times everyday? Having a positive mantra like “I am a very likeable person” can do wonders to your performance.
Step 2: Go Out With A Group Of Friends.
When it comes to overcoming social anxiety, you need to be comfortable first and foremost. Why don’t you start by going out with your closest friends or even your family?
Ask people you trust to show you the ropes. That way, you at least know nothing bad is going to happen to you. It might be scary at first; but if you really want to overcome your situation, you must be prepared to take the necessary steps.
Step 3: Go To Familiar Places.
Overcoming social anxiety does not happen overnight, so don’t push yourself to the limit especially when you’re just beginning to get the hang of it. Aside from hanging out with people you already know, make it a point to hang out at places which are familiar to you. Don’t suddenly go to a bar or to a rave party if you’re not yet used to the idea. The shock of being in such an alien situation might only worsen your social anxiety.
Overcoming social anxiety is possible. Even if you feel like you’ll never be able to have a normal relationship with other people, or even if you feel like it’s impossible not to get terrified in social situations, you have to stay true to the course. Overcoming social anxiety is a process. Don’t rush it. And don’t push yourself either. Take baby steps and always ask the assistance of the people you trust.