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Understanding Social Phobia and How to Overcome It

Aug 18, 2007
Lucky are those who have a lot of friends and family surrounding them who accept and love them unconditionally. For this group of people, it may be difficult to imagine how a woman can be scared to stand in front of the line in a store for the simple fear that everyone behind is watching her. A young man, who fears rejection from the new people that he will potentially meet may not have the ability to go out and socialize. These two situations are symptoms of social phobia which is one of the most common fears that Americans face today.

Social phobia is also referred to as social anxiety where a person experiences fear when facing other people in a social situation or expresses unnecessary worry about what other people may think. Social phobia may come in the form of fear of public speaking, fear of joining a public or group gathering, extreme self-consciousness and worrying about what other people may think by expecting criticism and disapproval.

To learn more about social phobia, its effects and some of the ways to overcome social phobia, take a look at the following:

1. A person with social phobia will exhibit the following physical symptoms: stuttering or stammering, sweating, nervousness, heart palpitations, sweating, nausea, trembling and sometimes, even panic attacks. Sometimes, if a person exhibits extreme shyness in casual social situations, this may already be an early sign of social phobia.

If the quality of life is affected and a person does not have the ability to widen his or her social circle, these are the signs that a person has social phobia. Timidity, negative thinking, fear of humiliation, embarrassment and ridicule are additional characteristics that you need to look for in a person with social phobia.

2. Understand that there are several root causes for social phobia. A previous humiliating or embarrassing experience that was personally tragic for the person may lead to social phobia.

Genetic factors, a deep-seated shame or hatred of a family member or family background, psychological factors, low self-esteem and depression are some of the other causes which may lead to social phobia or social anxiety. By getting deep into the root of this psychological condition, you will be able to understand more the reason behind social phobia and take steps towards treating it.

3. Although there are neuro, medicinal and psychiatric treatments for social anxiety, prevention is still better than cure. If you are extremely shy and there is a tendency for you to develop social phobia, you could adapt a new way of thinking and do your best to overcome shyness and social phobia. Below are some tips:

-Get to the root of the problem for your shyness: low self-esteem. If you feel that your appearance is inadequate and you are extremely self-conscious when you go out, ask the help of a close friend to implement ways of enhancing your natural attributes. Even a new set of good clothes will give your self-confidence a boost so that you will feel more comfortable in social situations.

-If your social phobia stems from a bad experience in the past, or shame about your family background or a bad experience, get the help of a professional if you need to. Some people with bad experiences take comfort in anonymity which can lead to social phobia. You cannot move on to a brighter future if you are trapped in or haunted by the past.

-Always think positive. Developing a sense of pride about who you are and accepting the fact that every one of us is unique in his and her own way, then you will be able to adapt a more positive attitude and sort of 'brighten' up the way that you look at things. A positive overall perspective in life will attract more friends so that your social circle will widen and you will not have the tendency of melding into the background or even developing social phobia.

Social phobia is something that you need to get over if this fear does not give you a chance to develop healthy personal and professional relationships. No man is an island, and there is no better time to start than now if you want to cultivate a deeper relationship with other people, get rid of your social phobia and live a fuller and more meaningful life.
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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