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what is a social anxiety

jajingna

jajingna

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Social anxiety is a complicated and common emotional problem. It happens when you do not feel safe to be yourself with other people. Instead of feeling safe, comfortable and at ease, you feel it is dangerous and a threat because you fear being judged, criticized, embarrassed, or rejected. You perceive a threat and think others are paying more attention to you than they actually are. You fear what they might be thinking about you, and this inhibits your behavior around them. You feel awkward talking to others, uncertain of yourself, insecure about how you are coming across socially. It usually has roots in early life experiences with critical or just unhappy parents, siblings, or experiences with bullying. Your self-esteem is low and you do not feel confidence.

And it's probably more complicated than all that! Your nervous system is on high alert, looking for any cues of disapproval from others. This causes stress. Stress hormones are released affecting brain function. Many socially anxious people will also experience depression. Their lives will often be lonely because they have trouble establishing close relationships, maintain quality friendships, finding romantic partners, or being comfortably social with their own family, co-workers or others in their lives. They usually long for greater social connection and closeness but have trouble achieving this. They are not trusting of others but the main issue is their own sense of self, the anxiety about being not good enough and the fear of disapproval.
 

rosesareblue

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Feb 3, 2021
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USA
Social anxiety is a complicated and common emotional problem. It happens when you do not feel safe to be yourself with other people. Instead of feeling safe, comfortable and at ease, you feel it is dangerous and a threat because you fear being judged, criticized, embarrassed, or rejected. You perceive a threat and think others are paying more attention to you than they actually are. You fear what they might be thinking about you, and this inhibits your behavior around them. You feel awkward talking to others, uncertain of yourself, insecure about how you are coming across socially. It usually has roots in early life experiences with critical or just unhappy parents, siblings, or experiences with bullying. Your self-esteem is low and you do not feel confidence.

And it's probably more complicated than all that! Your nervous system is on high alert, looking for any cues of disapproval from others. This causes stress. Stress hormones are released affecting brain function. Many socially anxious people will also experience depression. Their lives will often be lonely because they have trouble establishing close relationships, maintain quality friendships, finding romantic partners, or being comfortably social with their own family, co-workers or others in their lives. They usually long for greater social connection and closeness but have trouble achieving this. They are not trusting of others but the main issue is their own sense of self, the anxiety about being not good enough and the fear of disapproval.
Very interesting I used to feel the same way when I was younger now I am in my fourty. Thank you
 
unseen

unseen

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Mar 18, 2021
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117
Location
Northren Ireland
Social anxiety is a complicated and common emotional problem. It happens when you do not feel safe to be yourself with other people. Instead of feeling safe, comfortable and at ease, you feel it is dangerous and a threat because you fear being judged, criticized, embarrassed, or rejected. You perceive a threat and think others are paying more attention to you than they actually are. You fear what they might be thinking about you, and this inhibits your behavior around them. You feel awkward talking to others, uncertain of yourself, insecure about how you are coming across socially. It usually has roots in early life experiences with critical or just unhappy parents, siblings, or experiences with bullying. Your self-esteem is low and you do not feel confidence.

And it's probably more complicated than all that! Your nervous system is on high alert, looking for any cues of disapproval from others. This causes stress. Stress hormones are released affecting brain function. Many socially anxious people will also experience depression. Their lives will often be lonely because they have trouble establishing close relationships, maintain quality friendships, finding romantic partners, or being comfortably social with their own family, co-workers or others in their lives. They usually long for greater social connection and closeness but have trouble achieving this. They are not trusting of others but the main issue is their own sense of self, the anxiety about being not good enough and the fear of disapproval.
Very good explanation jajingna, this describes me near perfectly
 
Capri19

Capri19

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Mar 16, 2021
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NZ
Going through a bit of that at present. Intolerance of certain behaviour makes me avoid certain situations or people...eg passing judgement on a person...unnecessary gossip etc etc
 
jajingna

jajingna

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It can be situational too. You might feel anxious around some people more than others. For me it is family. That's where it began and remains, but then it extended outward to school and work and became more general, being an inhibition that was more or less constant. Not so much with friends at least, in younger years anyway.

But it is normal enough to feel more comfortable with some people than you do with others. Naturally those comfortable people, who help put you at ease, are the ones who want to be around, if you can find them. When you don't have such people to be around, or are stuck with being around those you don't feel secure with, that makes things hard.

But the central issue will remain that you need to remove or "deactivate" this sense of threat somehow and get to feeling safe being yourself no matter who you are talking to, so you won't continue to avoid people, or freeze up with anxiety. Easier said than done.
 
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