“Do I smell weird?”
“This shirt looked better when I was in my room.”
“Is everyone staring at me? Why are they staring?? Wait… are they talking about me?!”
“I should have stayed home.”
Social anxiety can be a silent, socializing killer. It’s the feeling of wanting to be with friends and also questioning if leaving the house is worth the mental stress you feel when you do. Many men (and women) I have worked with report some form of social anxiety, but they don’t always label it that way. Some have misidentified themselves as being introverted or anti-social, when in actuality they have been experiencing social anxiety for years upon years. By this point their nervous system is shot and being a hermit is a much better option.
Social anxiety can look like being paranoid about safety or feeling insecure in large crowds. It can also feel like knots in the stomach, sweaty palms or foreheads, overthinking, or assuming you are not wanted in the room you occupy. Maybe it would be helpful for you to know that you’re not the only person feeling this way.
Here’s some tips on what can you do about your social anxiety:
Challenge your thoughts:
Ask yourself if you’re making assumptions about your current situation or imagining the worst case scenario. Is there evidence to prove that you smell or people are talking about you? Remember feelings are not facts.
Tell your friends:
Do they know that you struggle with going out in public places or that you think you aren’t wanted there? It can be difficult to make a commitment to attend a friend’s birthday party and then want to leave 15 minutes into it; there’s concern over letting someone down. Minimize this by providing them with real expectations for how long you may be there.
Social anxiety is more than just “not wanting to be out”, your brain is firing signals that say “we aren’t safe, we can’t do this!” Your anxiety is real and it can take time to change the way you’re thinking. Therapy is a perfect place to do this.
We spent a lot of time at home, now is the time to grow and thrive. Let this be the year you manage your social anxiety instead of drowning in your own thoughts.
At Mind Works Counseling Services in Lubbock, TX, we specialize in Anxiety Counseling and strive in our efforts of being able to offer you a life raft. Whether you struggle with social anxiety, separation anxiety, or anxiety anxiety… we are here to help.
Learn more about the Anxiety Counseling services we offer.
Contact us to make an appointment or to let us answer any questions you may have.