Social anxiety is a common problem. Many of us feel that unless we work hard to hide our shortcomings, we’ll be judged or rejected for them. Maybe you feel boring or uninteresting, or worry you always say the wrong thing. Perhaps you fear being criticised for the clothes you wear or what you’ve achieved (or haven’t achieved) in life.
But if you suffer from social anxiety, how you feel before a social event – be it meeting in a bar, a work party or a family gathering – is not a good indication of how it will go. If you succumb to these negative feelings and never put yourself in social situations, you’ll miss out on important connections and your life will be much poorer for it.
It rarely works to advise a shy or anxious person to ‘just go for it and be yourself’. When you’re suffering from anxiety, being yourself is precisely the problem! There are ways to overcome social anxiety and start to enjoy these situations more. Rather than drinking as a way to cope with social anxiety, try some of these tips.