You are sitting at work typing a report that has been due for a while when all of a sudden you get an invite from a close friend. He wants you to come out to dinner and enjoy some company with some friends and acquaintances you have met before — and also a few you have not. At the exact moment you hear that there might be people there you have not met before or know nothing about, a bubbling feeling in your gut begins to expand.
This bubbling expansion develops into thoughts that distract you from work and other responsibilities. This distraction then creates a sense of fear and worry in you that grows and grows; it does not shrink.
You think: “What will these people think of me? What do I even think of myself? What excuse can I say to my friend that won’t seem like I am just blowing him off? I would rather sit at home and watch TV.”
Dealing with Social Anxiety Disorder
If you are having these negative thoughts, there are a lot ways to naturally work through them to devoid your mind of this anxiety. Once you can remove these thoughts from your mind, you can begin to think about the positive outcomes of this invite. (Easier said than done, we know.)
This invite can be good for you. It will allow you to converse with others about your life and have them share part of themselves with you. The possibility of a new friendship could blossom out of it. You might feel some of the weight of the world that you carry on your shoulders melt away a little bit when you share your experiences with others.
The food might be terrible, but that is a minor logistical piece in the overall experience you may have. At the end of the evening, you can and should be able say to yourself, “I went out, I had a good time and I met some interesting people.” This is the positive outcome your friend wanted for you the whole time he was inviting you in the first place.
Do you relate to the following symptoms?
- Nervousness in crowds
- Fear of making someone upset or angry
- Making excuses not to meet new people
- Wanting to escape a social situation instead of tackling it head-on
Call Bristol Social Anxiety Therapy: Find Relief
At Thriveworks, our counselors have helped so many people work through these issues. They can provide you with the tools you need to overcome these thoughts, drawing from a variety of techniques that best suit your individual needs and concerns.
These tools are not temporary. You can take them with you after you leave your first session and immediately be put to use in your life on a daily basis. For example, you will probably discuss potential triggers for your social anxiety, which will better help you process the emotions you experience the next time a friend reaches out with another dinner invite.
Do not be the person making excuses not to spend quality time with friends and family. Let us help.
Make an appointment with our talented counselors to guide and teach you through the steps to eliminate social anxiety.