I don’t know what the deal is with our society these days but for some reason we seem to want to resort to using a pill for something, even shyness and social anxiety. This is also a common myth many people with SA believe. When you were young, someone may have told you, “You’re shy” or “You’re quiet.” This assumes that SA is a part of your personality or identity. It’s something you were born with or have developed over time to become a part of you, like your hair or feet. But the truth is, it is not a part of your personality. There’s no medical reason you should need to start popping pills because you can’t talk to that guy you like.
Think about it: Are you anxious or shy all the time? Are you equally anxious when you’re talking to someone new as when you’re talking to your closest friend? How about when talking to a group of people versus just one person? No, you aren’t. So what does this mean?
It’s simple. It’s is learned behavior. It’s a set of mental and physical behaviors you’ve learned to use to react to certain situations. The amount and the type of reaction you feel depends on the situation. You may not be able to make conversation with strangers easily, but there’s probably one or two people in your life who you can talk to effortlessly. You may be quiet and hard-to-hear when there’s lots of people listening, but when you’re in a private room you can speak as loud as you want.
It’s going to differ, at least a little, for everyone but the gist is learning to beat social anxiety and shyness is really just about learning to overcome the objections your brain is throwing at you. The important thing to understand is that nobody has shyness or anxiety in every area, it always relates to specific situations. And regardless of what people same to think (based on the latest studies) you can overcome social issues. There’s no reason anyone has to “just deal” with them when it’s simple behavioral changes which can make the difference. So stop assuming social anxiety or shyness is a part of your personality and turning it into an unchangeable identity. Don’t say: “That’s the way I am.” Say: “In this situation…”
That alone should be your first “Aaaah!” moment.
So if it is a set of thoughts and behaviors you have learned to use in certain social situations. This also means you can unlearn these thoughts and behaviors and replace them with new ones. Everything you need to do to unlearn these thoughts and behaviors will be explained a little later as we go on. I’ll need to keep adding to this site and you can also look around online or in your nearest book store. Shyness is becoming a bigger issue which means more and more people have been looking to help people with it.
Unwhatever is an ongoing project to build a one stop resource for anyone seeking to improve your social life. If we’ve not covered something you’re looking for then feel free to ask here or look through something like shyness and social anxiety on Overshyness or any reputable source. Just be careful when reading online – there’s a lot of bad advice out there. To be honest my best advice would even be to question what you read here. While I spend a lot of time doing my research it’s always better to question everything. If nothing else you’ll understand things better yourself.
Society isn’t great with reacting to social anxiety yet because we basically praise the extrovert at the moment but we’re slowly getting to a point where you can at least find help if you know where to look. The internet is actually great for this because it means you can learn from the safety of your own home. No need for medication or anything fancy, social anxiety can be solved by reading, understanding and getting yourself out there.