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Getting Over Shyness And Social Anxiety

Aug 18, 2007
More or less, everybody has felt shyness at least once in their life. As a matter of fact, only about 7% of the population in America declared that they never felt shy in their entire life. For the rest, shyness could be occasional, a minor inconvenience, or it may lead to a major problem.

Some experience a degree of shyness that is quite severe and becomes a debilitating problem. This acute type of shyness is not just a simple traumatic experience, but it can be so severe and so painful that it can devastate your social life, career, and eventually your chance at happiness.

Severe social anxiety is a complex mixture of biology, upbringing, traumatic experiences, and self pessimism or negative self-talk. This type of social anxiety co-exists with more debilitating or weakening psychological conditions such as poor self-esteem, perfectionism, anxiety or depression.

Extreme social anxiety may take many other forms and may show up differently in every person. Some who experience social anxiety may have problems in large groups of people, and feel uncomfortable with their surroundings, while some people are quite at ease with just a small group of people. Some people experience shyness towards people they just met, while some others still feel uncomfortable even if they have known the person for a long time.

Some very shy people are still able to overcome what they fear by learning good social skills and practicing them frequently in some social occasions. Many find it useful to gain a measure of control over their uncomfortable physical reactions by relaxing. Some of their uncontrollable feelings includes sweating and trembling, which is common with most shy people.

Other shy people tend to avoid certain occasions when they might feel uncomfortable or experience discomfort. This may affect their social life, such as when they avoid eye contact with people they know, and even turn down promotions they earned at work.

These actions will worsen the social phobia that they are experiencing. People dealing with social anxiety think that their coping behavior will help them without realizing they are making their problems worse. By deciding to avoid a scene when he might get anxious, the person actually worsens the extent of his fear that will impose more constraints on him.

There are prescriptive medications available for controlling the feeling of extreme anxiety, but it is not advisable to use them for curing social anxiety. Gradual exposure to people, interacting with them step by step is the best way to do it.

If the case of social anxiety is quite severe, seeking a therapist who will help you effectively and successfully in managing your phobia is a good choice. But not all forms of psychological help have been proven effective in treating social anxiety.

The best psychological help for getting over shyness or anxiety has proven to be the options of cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy. These forms of therapy involve teaching a patient on ways of behaving and thinking while they are in the presence of other people.
About the Author
Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He recently produced a very popular free report: 10 Simple Steps to Developing Communication Confidence. Apply now because it is available only at: conversation starters
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