It’s completely normal to have moments of anxiety or social awkwardness from time to time. However, do you feel like these moments happen all of the time? Do you feel plagued by feelings of uneasiness when it comes to socializing?
If these questions resonate with you, then you may be suffering from social anxiety.
This type of anxiety is incredibly common, but difficult to cope with for those who experience it. It’s not always easy to tell if you have social anxiety or if you’ve just had a few awkward experiences. Or you may just be extremely introverted but not necessarily anxious.
Let’s examine some ways to tell whether or not you have social anxiety.
1. The Thought of Socializing Makes You Nervous
It’s normal to get nervous when talking to certain people, such as your boss or supervisor. However, do you find yourself getting nervous talking to anyone in general? If so, this may be a sign of social anxiety.
Those who have social anxiety have a hard time making small talk and feel extremely nervous when they’re talking to someone new. Furthermore, they may feel panicked when they’re talking in a group and the spotlight is on them—they’d rather go unnoticed in such a situation.
2. You Worry About Saying the Wrong Thing
Another sign of social anxiety is a constant worry that you may say the wrong thing. It doesn’t matter what the context is—at the workplace, with friends, or to your significant other. You live in consistent fear that the wrong thing will slip out and make things incredibly awkward.
Worse yet, you may worry about hurting someone’s feelings or being unintentionally offensive. Because of this fear, you find yourself avoiding social situations whenever you can.
3. When You Do Say Something Wrong, It Feels Worse Than It Is
This point ties in with the previous one. Because you live in fear that you might say something wrong, when it does happen, you feel irrationally embarrassed and can’t stop replaying the moment in your mind.
It’s incredibly normal to have a “foot-in-your-mouth” moment, and it happens to almost everyone at some point or another. You may even be able to consciously recognize this. Nevertheless, when you do say something awkward or embarrassing, you agonize over it.
4. Physical Symptoms Accompany Your Anxiety
If you have social anxiety, you may have other symptoms besides just nervousness when you’re talking to someone.
You may have an increased heart rate and begin sweating excessively. Your stomach might feel upset and your head dizzy. Sometimes, social anxiety can become so bad that it triggers a full-blown panic attack, which leaves you debilitated for some time.
5. You Feel Depressed About Your Social Skills
It’s not uncommon for people to suffer from both anxiety and depression. Often, the two illnesses play into and off of one another.
If you’ve been suffering from social anxiety for some time, it may leave you feeling depressed or hopeless. You want to socialize, you want friendships, and you want to seem “normal” in group conversations. But it feels impossible!
Long-term, this can lead to depression. And depression can make you feel less inclined to even try socializing, which can lead to a lonely, isolated life.
Overcoming Social Anxiety
If you feel depressed about your social anxiety, there is absolutely hope. Plenty of socially anxious people find that therapy has helped them ease their symptoms.
Hence, if you have social anxiety, seek out a therapist. With a professional’s help, you can better understand what makes you feel anxious, and why. A therapist can help give you tips about socializing and help you become better at conversation. Furthermore, they can help you understand that making a simple slip-up in a conversation isn’t the end of the world.
You don’t have to isolate yourself from social situations, and you don’t have to live in fear that you may say the wrong thing. There is hope, and there is nothing wrong with having trouble socializing. If you’re ready to begin your journey towards coping with and overcoming your social anxiety, contact a Crossroads therapist today.
We understand that seeking anxiety counseling can be a nerve-racking decision, which is why we offer a complementary 20-minute phone consultation. Our locations for anxiety therapy are located throughout the valley with counseling centers located in Phoenix, Anthem, Biltmore, Paradise Valley, and Scottsdale. Call us at 623-680-3486,text 623-688-5115, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.