Shyness is the feeling of awkwardness or apprehension when approaching or being approached by unfamiliar people. Shyness is not the same as introversion. Introverts feel energized by time alone. Differently, shy people often want to sincerely connect with others, but don’t know how to approach. Also, they can be fearful of the reaction or results that will come by making the first step or initiating contact. In other words, they want to get in social situations, but often don’t know how to overcome shyness.
The experience of shyness can occur at any or all of the following levels:
- Cognitive (e.g., excessive negative self-evaluation)
- Affective (e.g., heightened negative emotion)
- Physiological (e.g., racing heart, blushing)
- Behavioural (e.g., failure to respond appropriately, avoiding certain situations).
Most shyness tends to occur around interactions with authorities and strangers, or, one-on-one opposite-sex interactions. In addition, unstructured social settings can also precipitate shyness.
Here are 6 Tips on How to Overcome Shyness and Embrace Your Socialness:
- Visualize a Positive Outcome
- Turn Self-Talk to Positive
- Do something uncomfortable and get out of your comfort zone. Just Do It!
- Ask Questions
- Remind Yourself Of Your Strengths
- Worry Less About What Others Think
Go ahead, you got this!
Making headlines today was the release that Jennifer Lawrence, from X-Men and more recently, the Hunger Games, suffered from Social Anxiety. Although our society is becoming more understanding of mental health issues, stigma still exists. When it comes to discussing mental health issues and getting treatment, there is still not enough openness regarding this topic.
For a celebrity like Jennifer Lawrence, to publicly share her challenges is inspiring for us all. It helps to reduce stigma and increases awareness about mental well-being.
Social Anxiety And It’s Prevalence
According to Statistics Canada, social anxiety, is one of the most common anxiety disorders. Social anxiety is
“a disorder characterized by a fear of situations in which there is potential for embarrassment or humiliation in front of others. There are generally two subtypes of social phobia: one involves a fear of speaking in front of people, whether it be public speaking or simply talking with a person of authority; the other subtype involves more generalized anxiety and complex fears, such as eating in public or using public washrooms, and in these cases individuals may experience anxiety around anyone other than family”.
In Canada, anywhere between 8-13% of Canadian’s will be influenced by social anxiety. The disorder is more common in women than in men. Also, there appears to be an environmental and familial link to the disorder.
Jennifer Lawrence’s story of facing her fear of social scrutiny head-on teaches us all one important thing. Facing the things that cause us anxiety is the best form of treatment. Hence, the best example is exposure therapy combined with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
If you’d like to inquire about social anxiety treatment in Mississauga or Bradford Ontario at Real Life Counselling, don’t hesitate to call us at 289-231-8479.