Dealing With Social Anxiety Can:
- lessen the uncomfortable feelings that can get in the way of being able to talk with others and be part of a group
- increase your chances for friendship and fun
- help you to develop your talents and learn new skills
- help you do your best at school or work
Many people often try to cope with upsetting feelings on their own. Some of the strategies we use may help us feel better in the short term, but aren’t very helpful in the long run.
You may feel like...using alcohol or other drugs to help you feel less nervous.
Having a drink or getting high can help to reduce anxiety before going to a social event, but it’s easy for it to become the only way we cope, which stops us from learning other strategies.
For longer-term results, think about...changing thinking patterns.
Social anxiety usually goes along with negative thoughts that a person has about themselves and their how they do in social situations (for example, you might be afraid they’ll think you’re weird or no one will talk to you). You’re often not even aware you’re having these thoughts. They can happen before, during, and after the social event.
This website has several self-care tools that can help you learn to change the way you think.
You may feel like... avoiding social situations that make you anxious.
This can seem like a good way to deal with it, but it can reinforce anxious feelings, making it harder for us to overcome them. It also prevents us from practicing skills and having success in how we interact with others.
For longer-term results, think about...learning how to gradually face social situations that make you anxious and to be more comfortable in them.
This can help to get over the anxious feelings stopping you from taking part in social activities. Using the self-help resources or by working with a counsellor who understands social anxiety can help.
If you’re looking for ways to manage feeling shy or nervous in social situations, try using our self-care resources or talk with someone about what’s going on.