Example of how you can handle a social situation “I can´t talk about my feelings since I think that people will perceive me as a burden”

Example of how you can handle a social situation

Here is an example of how you can act if you have decided to meet a friend and you you would rather go home. You feel exhausted from spending a whole day at work trying to talk, be happy and appear relaxed even though you feel tired and anxious.
My advice:

If you are meeting a friend that you feel close to even though you avoid talking about how you feel, I advice you to meet your friend. Try this time to talk about your anxiety. If you feel that you are a burden, think about how many times your friend has been talking about herself/himself and that you are doing the same for her/him. If you meet your friend, you feel bad but you keep it to yourself, there is a risk that you just want to avoid your friend since it takes energy to hide you true feelings.

A strategy if you are nervous about burdening someone can be to take the time so that you have control over how much you actually talk about yourself. If you have an issue with this it´s  common that it “feels” like you are talking much about yourself when in fact you are not.

Good Luck!

Cognitive Behavior Psycholgist Monica Emanell

www.kbtemanell.se

Handle your social anxiety “How can I ever feel comfortable in a social situation?”

Handle your social anxiety

Here are some more tips about how to handle your social anxiety:

7. Make plans in detail about how you can behave on next time you go to a party. So instead of focusing on avoiding the party, analyze how you can handle social situations.

8. If you don´t want to go to the party, think that you´ll only be there for half an hour.

9. When you start to critisize yourself after the party, think about that you pratice on being nice to yourself and try to do something that usually makes you feel good.

10. Try to prevent yourself from using behaviors that you use to avoid the anxiety, but that makes you get more anxiety in the long run.

11. Analyze how you can talk about your feeling to your closest friends. If you fear that they will thing something bad about, choose one or two friends and try to say something about how you feel.

12. If you don´t have any friends, think about what you like and take a class to meet more people. When you take the class, try to seem interested in others, smile, say something about the class etc.

13. Reason with yourself about why people would not think that you are for example boring.

14. Try to practice often, you will see that the anxiety diminshes after you notice that people don´t react in a negative way.

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell

www.kbtemanell.se

Handle your social anxiety “How can ever feel comfortable in a social situation?”

How you can handle your social anxiety

No matter why and when you got your social anxiety, it is common that it gets worse because when you try to get rid of the anxiety you behave in ways that makes it worse.

Here are a few examples of what you can do to handle your anxiety in social situations:

1. Find out what happens in situations where you feel anxiety. Analyze what you do to get rid of the anxiety.

2. Analyze what you worry about. often it´s about fear that other people will think that you are stupid, weird, insecure, boring etc.

3. Find out if you can to with someone about your problem. May be you don´t want to tell anyone out of fear that other people will see you symtoms more once you have revealed them. Another reasom might be that you worry that other people will think that you are weird since you have social anxiety.

A good reason sharing your problem with someone is that most of the time you get proof that your friend likes you in spite of your social anxiety. Besides that, talking to someone when you feel bad is usually a good strategy in order to feel better.

4. Be observant about if you step on your own needs in order to be liked by other people. May be you take all  responsibility for a conversation, may be you listen to other people more than they listen to you, may be you force yourself to appear and cheerful all the time etc.

5. Be observant that your drive to appear in  a certain way draws both attention and energy from you. The consequence might be that you don´t remember what is said and you can´t concentrate. It´s common that you try to adapt to other people  and that you expect from yourself to appear in a certain, perfect way.

6. Register your “should” thoughts during a day. If you have social anxiety you probably have low self-esteem and you critisize yourself a lot.

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell

www.kbtemanell.se

 

Example of how you can handle your social anxiety “I don´t want to go to the party tonight since I don´t know what to say to othe people”

Example of how you can handle your social anxiety

Let´s say that you have been invited to a party. You would actually like to go but you have anxiety about what to say if someone starts to talk with you. You wish that you could talk and have fun like many of the people you know do but instead you get anxiety and you can´t think of anything to say.

You feel that a party situation is like a nightmare where people  can start talking with you and you are certain that you will not have anything to say.

Let´s say that you are at the party now and that you sit beside someone that you have not met before.

Example of what you can say to the person sitting next to you:

– How do you know Nils who has the party? Do you know many people here?

– The food is good, I would like to have the recipee since I like to cook, do you like to cook?

– Since you know Nils from work, do you have the same kind  of job?

My comments: It is often easier if you ask questions, both because it probably makes you more relaxed since the focus is on someone else, but also because people often like to feel validated so that increases the possibility of a good response.

Be observant that the responsibilty for the conversation is not only yours. If the other person doesn´t contribute to the conversation you can try to be quiet for a while and see what happens. Also ask yourself how interested you are in talking with the other person. Often when you have this problem you forget about your own needs. Also if you feel that you start to panic since you don´t want to talk with the other person, say that  you need to go to the restroom, have a glass of water etc.

Finally no matter how you think that you have handled the social situation try to observe your self-critical thoughts and think that you practice on being nice towards yourself. Do something nice towards yourself like call someone you like, buy something small, take a bath etc.

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell

www.kbtemanell.se

 

Social anxiety and self-esteem “I don´t know what to say when I talk to other people”

Social anxiety and self-esteem “I don´t know what to say when I talk with other people”

If you have social anxiety you probably avoid social situations more or less which in turn can lead depression. The alterntive is sometimes that you endure social situations you are exposed to for example; coffee rests at work, social gatherings related to work, social gatherings with friends etc. but if you constantly think about that other people think that you are boring, nervous, weird  etc.

Behaviors that are common in social anxiety are that you:

– Talk a lot (so that other people don´t think that you are boring while you worry about not having anything to say).

– Talk little (because of fear that you will say something weird, stupid or uninteresting).

– Avoid having eye contact with other people (because of fear that they will see that you are nervous, weird or stupid which is what you think about yourself).

– Focus on your voice (to reassure yourself that you talk with a balanced voice).

. Hold things firmly (to be sure that you don´t shake).

-Move slowly in order not to risk to be drop something or do something else that is embarrassing.

– Think that you must force yourself to relax.

– Talk too fast because you feel nervous.

These behaviors are examples of what is common if you have social anxiety.

If you don´t recognize yourself you can anyway try to analyze what behaviors

you have when you feel anxiety in social situations. Remember that the behaviors that you feel are anxiety relieving in the short run usually make you get more anxiety in the long run.

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell

www.kbtemanell.se

 

Social anxiety and self-esteem “other people will think that I am weird, boring, nervous etc.”

Social anxiety and self-esteem “other people will think that I am weird, boring, nervous etc.”

If you have social anxiety you are probably very anxious about being liked by other people. Often you are so anxious about being liked that you run over your own needs in order to prevent anyone of thinking something negative about you.

As I have written before, when we feel negative feelings about something, we tend to behave in a way that make us feel even worse in the long run.

For example, if you have assumptions about yourself that you are boring there is a big possibility that you behave in  a way that can lead towards being boring.

Common assumptions if you have social anxiety are that:

– you worry what other people will think about you.

– you are self-conscious which means that you observe your own behavior all the time and you think about how you are perceived by other people.

– You have problems focusing on what other people say (because your self consciousness distracts you).

– You worry constantly that things will go wrong.

– When you have been in a social situation it is common that you ruminate on what you have said and how you said it and that other people will think that you are weird, boring, stupid etc. You also critisize yourself.

– You often feel that you have nothing to say, a fact that you critisize yourself for.

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell

www.kbtemanell.se

 

 

Do you have social phobia?

Do you have social phobia?

As I said many of us feel social anxiety sometimes but for some people their daily life becomes  influenced by social anxiety. If you have social anxiety for more than 6 months in a way that affects your daily life you may be you have social phobia.

Symtoms for social phobia are:

1. A persistent fear of one or more social situations where the person is exposed to other people. The person is afraid that he/she will act in a way (or show anxiety) that will be embarassing or humiliating. The individual does not have to do anything embarassing but the fear of it leads to anxiety.

2. Exposure to the social situation activates anxiety.

The subject the individual is afraid of can variate. It can be fear of making phone calls, having a conversation, walk into a room full of people, eat or write when other people are watching etc.

3. The individual understands that the fear is not logical and exagerated.

Often you understand that you fear is unnecessary and that it makes things worse. This makes you feel unsecure, inferior and inadquate.

4. The individual avoids or endures the anxiety provoking situation with intense feelings of anxiety.

To be continued…

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell

www.kbtemanell.se

Social anxiety and self-esteem “I have anxiety in the company of other people”

Social anxiety and self-esteem “I have anxiety in the company of other people”

Social anxiety is about feeling nervous in the company of other people.  Most of us have felt nervous sometimes in a social situation. It is about a fear of making a fool of yourself in front of other people or appearing insecure, boring, different etc. As I have described several times before, our behaviors in situations when we feel nervous lead to more anxiety in the long run.

Social anxiety can also lead to depression. The social anxiety can lead to the fact that you avoid social situations more and more which can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation.

If you have social anxiety, first  of all it is important that you see that there is a way of dealing with this problem successfully. Try to analyze where it started and what behaviors you have had that has made the problems worse. If you have problems with social anxiety, you probably have problems with your self-esteem. Social anxiety is about fear of not being good enough in fron of others, fear of not being liked by others which probably in fact is about that you don´t think that you are good enough in general.

To be continued…

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell

www.kbtemanell.se