How I Deal with Social Anxiety
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Let’s be real, friends. Social anxiety sucks. Yet so many of us have it! And I’m not gonna lie, I’ve got it bad. But I’m trying to get rid of anxiety for good, and that definitely includes social anxiety. Over the years, I’ve come up with a few techniques for dealing with social anxiety. I truly hope these help you on your journey to an anxiety-free life!
The best piece of fashion advice I ever got was right after I told my friend that she always pulls off such bold outfits. She looked at me and said, “You can too, Bekah. You just have to own it.” My mind was BLOWN, and honestly, I think of her every time I buy an article of clothing that puts me out of my comfort zone.
But what does great fashion advice have to do with social anxiety? In this case, everything.
Something I learned in the past year or so is that the phrase “fake it till you make it” actually holds some weight. When I walk into a situation where I’m afraid everyone will judge me (ugh), I don’t hide anymore. I stand with my chin held high and confidence shining through my smile. Because people won’t criticize you as badly if you look like you know what you’re doing. They’ll think you know exactly what’s up. That is, unless they know better than you do. You can’t BS an expert.
But you can BS other people into thinking you’re not afraid of their opinions. And you’ll also trick your brain into not worrying about every little thing you do. Trust me, it works!
Come up with a Battle Plan
There are certain questions we all dread. How’s life? Where are you working? When are you getting married/having kids?
But you don’t have to be afraid of these questions. All you have to do is come up with a standard answer to them. Keep it tucked away in your mind so you can pull it out, well-rehearsed, when you need it.
For me, the “How’s life” question usually gets an answer like, “Life’s good! My writing career and blog are both doing great, and Jeff (my husband) and I are pretty happy to be doing life together.”
You don’t have to elaborate a lot unless you want to. But I find that having a game plan when it comes to awkward questions helps keep my social anxiety at a manageable level.
Take CBD Oil
I’ve been taking CBD oil for a while now. At first I didn’t really think it helped with my social anxiety, but I’m beginning to think differently now. It really helps calm me down, when I’m at home and when I’m out being social. You can read more about how I use CBD oil here.
(Psssst. One of my favorite CBD oil companies is currently having a 40% off sale. Click here to learn more.)
Talk to Yourself
Okay . . . so I don’t recommend doing this while you’re around other people. BUT. When I’m on my way to an event/a person’s house, and I’m super nervous about how it’s gonna go, I talk to myself. I DON’T complain and repeat my worries. In fact, I do the opposite. I say things like:
“These people love you. They’re not going to judge you.”
“Even if these people don’t agree with the life you’ve chosen, you’re happy and doing well. That’s what counts.”
“This get-together is going to go fine, and you’re going to have a good time.”
Stop Thinking about Yourself
There. I said it.
The first time I truly revealed how bad my social anxiety was to someone, this is the response I got: “You’re not that big of a deal, and people aren’t paying that much attention to you.”
Not gonna lie, that hurt. I should’ve taken it as, “Everyone is as self-absorbed as you are, and they’re not paying attention to you.” Instead, I took it as, “You’re worthless. Just stop.”
Big difference there.
So, for you, know that you have worth. You were given a beautiful life, and you have the power to live it to the fullest. But when it comes to what others think of you (especially strangers), they’re probably not thinking that deeply about you because they’re busy thinking about themselves. So don’t worry!
A really great way to put an end to your social anxiety is to think about those around you. Have you ever noticed how you’re willing to do things for your social-anxiety-ridden friends that you’d never do for yourself? Like going up to someone to ask them a bold question, or standing in line at a salad bar.
Weird, I know. But this is a great way to stop your social anxiety in its tracks. Selflessness really puts things in a different perspective, doesn’t it?
Do the Unthinkable
I’ve got some news for you. You may not like it.
Because when it comes to social anxiety, the best way to conquer it is to be social. Gasp!
But it’s true. Think about it: do you get better at writing (or whatever your hobby is) by avoiding it, or by practicing? The same is true for dealing with social anxiety. It may always linger in the background, but pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to start letting the discomfort wear off will seriously help you. However, please remember:
You have your limits. Be mindful of them and don’t push yourself.
Getting rid of social anxiety is a process. Don’t expect immediate results.
Social anxiety is a big problem. It keeps me up at night, makes me want to stay home, and creates a plethora of anxious thoughts every day. But I’m working on making sure that my social anxiety doesn’t control me. If you’re trying too, let me know in the comments so I can cheer you on! And subscribe to my email list to get more tips like this. <3