Social anxiety is a chronic illness defined by a persistent and irrational fear of social situations where you’re exposed to unfamiliar people. The signs of social anxiety can sometimes be so subtle that you’re not even aware of what’s going on. You may have even brushed off your social anxiety as a bad stomach ache or lack of sleep. However, it’s important to be aware and recognise some of the symptoms of social anxiety so you can get the help and support you need.

  • You’re always self conscious

One aspect of social anxiety is the extreme fear of being judged. Researchers have found that if you have social anxiety you’d constantly worry about the way you look or act and what others think of you. Your greatest fear is embarrassing yourself in front of others. A shy person on the other hand would only worry about being judged in certain situations like in public speaking or when meeting someone new.

  • Your anxiety feels out of hand

There are times when it’s normal to feel shy or nervous in front of other people. For example when you move to a new school or when performing in front of an audience but social anxiety is irrational and unwarranted. It makes you feel stressful about things as simple as making eye contact with someone, using public transportation or eating in front of other people. The fear is always there.

  • It interferes with your performance

Have you ever called in sick to work when your anxiety became too overwhelming or have you kept quiet when you were having trouble in class? Social anxiety can impact your performance in many ways. With the constant fear of people’s judgement you may even be afraid to do well to avoid drawing people’s attention. You don’t pitch ideas at meetings, raise your hand in class or join clubs because of how much anxiety it creates.

  • It affects your relationships

While it’s hard to make friends when you’re shy, it can be almost impossible when you have social anxiety. For a shy person it’s usually about breaking the ice and going through the initial awkwardness of meeting each other but having social anxiety can complicate relationships. You feel tense and uneasy around people no matter how close you are or how long you’ve known them.

  • It doesn’t go away with familiarity

It’s normal to feel shy at the beginning of a new relationship but as you get to know each other the tension would start to subside. This isn’t the case if you have social anxiety. Instead you always experience fear, distress and embarrassment whenever you’re around other people. It doesn’t matter if it’s your parents, siblings or best friend. You always feel uneasy and stressed unless you’re alone.

  • You overanalyze everything

Have you ever said things like these to yourself: “I took too long to reply and now she doesn’t like me” or “He didn’t say hello this morning because he’s upset with me”. Social anxiety can make you obsess over your social interactions. You may spend a lot of time and energy analysing other people’s facial expressions, body language and tone of voice to see if they really mean what they’re saying or not.

  • You avoid social situatiuons

Are you often absent or very late to social gatherings? It’s a serious problem if your social anxiety leads you to avoid social situations all together. You decline invitations, refuse to speak to a lot of people and you would rather sit in the corner to avoid being noticed than mingle with anyone else. It doesn’t matter if it’s a normal day at work or school, your own birthday or even your own wedding day.

  • You have physical symptoms

Do you feel nausea, vertiginous or chest palpitations when you’re in social situations. Just like most anxiety disorders, social anxiety is often accompanied by physical symptoms. Some common ones are sweaty palms, shortness of breathe, light headedness and trembling. While these are also the same signs of someone having a panic attack you’d be able to tell the difference if you only show these symptoms when anticipating or being out in a social setting.

I hope this helps you and everyone else who reads this. If you’d want me to write on a topic that bothers you or anything you’d generally want me to write on please reach out to me using any of my social media buttons. Also I’d love to know your thoughts on this article and where you might agree or disagree. All entries are exclusively between myself and you, thank you and be safe!

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *