Social Anxiety is a common anxiety disorder characterised by overwhelming anxiety or self-consciousness in ordinary social situations.
The underlying fear is typically of being negatively evaluated or judged by other people, a type of irrational anxious thought.
In milder cases, the symptoms of social anxiety only appear in specific situations, such as public speaking. On the more extreme end, any form of social interaction can act as a trigger.
Because everyone’s thoughts, feelings and reactions to social anxiety are different, it’s valuable to spend some time thinking about your unique experience.
Which social situations are you anxious about?
- Giving a speech
- Going to the grocery store
- Meeting someone new
- Spending time alone with a friend
- Going on a date
- Attending a crowded event
- Making eye contact
- Being the centre of attention
- Talking on the phone
- Dealing with an authority figure
What are you worried about during social situations?
- Embarrassing myself
- Looking stupid
- My physical appearance
- Being disliked
- Being rejected
- Not knowing what to talk about
- Being noticed
Oftentimes, social anxiety will lead a person to live their life in a “safe” way that shields them from their fears, rather than living how they truly want. This is a form of avoidance, which will actually make anxiety worse over time. Next, consider how social anxiety and avoidance has impacted your life.
List three ways social anxiety has impacted your life. For example, did anxiety affect your choice of career? Has it affected your relationships?
Imagine you wake up tomorrow and your social anxiety is gone. How would your life be different? List three examples, being as specific as possible.
Hopefully this worksheet has helped to improve your understanding about how social anxiety impacts you and can form a basis of your goals for therapy.
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