How do you overcome social anxiety?

July 17, 2009 8:35am CST
My doctor said i have social anxiety. i feel uncomfortable in a place where i feel i don't belong to. or when meeting someone for the first time. i mostly avoid going to such places.. if at all i have the need to go, i take my someone with me. my heart palpitates when i m really not feeling good there. when i talk to others i would be so conscious about every single word that i speak. another problem with me is, when i write, or even start a discussion, i redo it many times. that it self consumes a lot of time. i fear that i might go wrong and no one would be able to understand. Do you have such feelings, if so, how do you overcome this? this is bothering me.. just to type these 8 lines discussion, i m taking nearly 10 min, hitting backspace and re doing it again. im not able to do anything productive. thanks for your responses in advance.
3 people like this
4 responses
• United States
21 Nov 09
i have social anxiety too. i become uncomfortable physically and mentally in social situations. especially tense ones. i blame everything on me. maybe you should talk with your doctor. well, i think it is ok if you take a long time typing. it means that you are thinking! i need to work on being productive too. i am focusing on eating much less. this is helping me because it is something i have wanted to do for a long time. i hope that i start helping myself more this way.
• United Kingdom
23 Oct 09
I have never been officially diagnosed with this condition however I'm pretty sure that I have suffered with it in the past and perhaps I still suffer with it a little! I have always found groups difficult and whenever I have been in a group setting I would normally remain quiet and sit in the corner of the group. I then gave up when things became too difficult for me. However, I'm starting to make some positive changes now. I recently joined a website and they have lots of different groups that you can join. I found a particular group called Shy London and this focuses on people that have Social Anxiety. Anyway, they arrange meetups in London and you do different things like visit a pub for a drink and a meal or something similar. I have only attended three of these meetings so far and I'm really pleased with my progress. I did find these meetings quite difficult but I think that the most important thing now is, I didn't quit, I didn't run away. I have plans to attend another meetup when they arrange it. I would recommend anyone living in London or near London join this group as it can only lead to positive change. I also read a lot and I have read quite a few books on Social Anxiety and how it affects you as a person. I want to try and look forward now and push myself to do more and more things. Andrew
@AmbiePam (49557)
• United States
18 Jul 09
I guess it won't make you feel better to know this is a common issue for people? I had social anxiety for years and years! Even now sometimes it can hit me out of the blue. For a period of time I was on a medication designed to ease anxiety, which did allow me not to have the physical effects that social anxiety can cause. I went to counseling for a while too, when I was a teenager. What really helped me was being thrown into situations that I had no choice but to deal with. When I got really sick at 19 I was suddenly going everywhere. To doctors, speclialists, hospitals, and even in hospitals I couldn't escape the outside. People would come and visit me...It was a never ending cycle of having to communicate with people. Socializing in college had been easier for me than that! After awhile I just did what I had to do, and I quit caring so much about what they all thought of me. Besides all that, a lot of people just focus on themselves, and don't recall anything we say to them anyway.
@Tiamjr (435)
18 Jul 09
I had a similar problem where I over-analysed what I was writing. I used to go over my e-mails about a dozen times before I posted them. While re-editing can be good in some cases, it really takes its toll out on you if you keep doing it over and over again. But when you think about it more clearly, everyone is human and is entitled to make mistakes. I read an article in a magazine that said you should write a list of some of your positive attributes. People who tend to over-analyse often think negatively of themselves and their capabilities. To cure this you need to replace those negative thoughts with positive ones. So if you find yourself thinking negative thoughts you should look at your list of positives to try and retrain your brain to think more highly of your capabilities. I think it said that this can take over 3 months to achieve, so it is a long process. I think writing on here is a good idea as it could give you confidence in your writing skills over time. You have some good discussions and I think you always make them easy to understand. I hope you manage to overcome your social anxiety in time, and that this message is of some use to you. Just keep going.