Spike asked in Social SciencePsychology · 9 years ago

Scared of social situations?

How can I get over the fear of being judged negatively in social situations? Thoughts like this pop up into my head and prevent me from being outgoing. I tend to avoid interaction with people.

"What if I sound/look stupid when I talk/do something?"

"What if what I say/do is stupid?"

"What if what I say/do doesn't come out right?"

7 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I felt the same way too

    Social situations is also known as social anxiety

    Social anxiety disorder treatment #1: Challenge negative thoughts

    Social anxiety sufferers have negative thoughts and beliefs that contribute to their anxiety. If you have social anxiety disorder, or social phobia, you may find yourself overwhelmed by thoughts like:

    “I know I’ll end up looking like a fool.”

    “My voice will start shaking and I’ll humiliate myself.”

    “People will think I’m stupid.”

    “I won’t have anything to say. I'll seem boring.”

    The first step is to identify the automatic negative thoughts that underlie your fear of social situations. For example, if you‘re worried about an upcoming work presentation, the underlying negative thought might be: “I’m going to blow it. Everyone will think I’m completely incompetent.”

    The next step is to analyze and challenge them. It helps to ask yourself questions about the negative thoughts: “Do I know for sure that I’m going to blow the presentation?” or “Even if I’m nervous, will people necessarily think I’m incompetent?” Through this logical evaluation of your negative thoughts, you can gradually replace them with more realistic and positive ways of looking at social situations that trigger your anxiety.

    Unhelpful thinking styles involved in social phobia

    In particular, ask yourself if you’re engaging in any of the following unhelpful thinking styles:

    Mind reading – Assuming you know what other people are thinking, and that they see you in the same negative way that you see yourself.

    Fortune telling – Predicting the future, usually while assuming the worst will happen. You just “know” that things will go horribly, so you’re already anxious before you’re even in the situation.

    Catastrophizing – Blowing things out of proportion. If people notice that you’re nervous, it will be “awful,” “terrible,” or “disastrous.”

    Personalizing – Assuming that people are focusing on you in a negative way or that what’s going on with other people has to do with you.

    How can I stop thinking that everyone is looking at me?

    In order to reduce self-focus, pay attention to what is happening around you, rather than monitoring yourself or focusing on symptoms of anxiety in your body:

    Look at other people and the surroundings.

    Really listen to what is being said (not to your own negative thoughts).

    Don't take all the responsibility for keeping conversations going—silence is okay, other people will contribute.

    Adapted from: Moodjuice

    Social anxiety disorder treatment #2: Learn to control your breath

    Many changes happen in your body when you become anxious. One of the first changes is that you begin to breathe quickly. Overbreathing throws off the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your body—leading to more physical symptoms of anxiety, such as dizziness, a feeling of suffocation, increased heart rate, and muscle tension.

    Learning to slow your breathing down can help you bring your physical symptoms of anxiety back under control. Practicing the following breathing exercise will help you stay calm when you’re the center of attention.

    A breathing exercise to help you keep your calm in social situations

    Sit comfortably with your back straight and your shoulders relaxed. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.

    Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose for 4 seconds. The hand on your stomach should rise, while the hand on your chest should move very little.

    Hold the breath for 2 seconds.

    Exhale slowly through your mouth for 6 seconds, pushing out as much air as you can. The hand on your stomach should move in as you exhale, but your other hand should move very little.

    Continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Focus on keeping a slow and steady breathing pattern of 4-in, 2-hold, and 6-out.

    Relaxation Techniques for Stress ReliefRelaxation techniques for anxiety relief

    In addition to deep breathing exercises, regular practice of relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, and progressive muscle relaxation will also help you get control over the physical symptoms of anxiety.

    For step-by-step advice on getting started, see Stress Relief: Yoga, Meditation, and other Relaxation Techniques.

    Social anxiety disorder treatment #3: Face your fears

    One of the most helpful things you can do to overcome social anxiety disorder, or social phobia, is to face the social situations you fear rather than avoid them. Avoidance keeps social anxiety disorder going.

    Avoidance leads to more problems

    While avoiding nerve-wracking situations may help you feel better in the short term, it prevents you from becoming more comfortable in social situations and learning how to cope. In fact, the more you avoid a feared social situation, the more frightening it becomes.

    Challenging social anxiety one step at a time

  • 5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    Scared of social situations?

    How can I get over the fear of being judged negatively in social situations? Thoughts like this pop up into my head and prevent me from being outgoing. I tend to avoid interaction with people.

    "What if I sound/look stupid when I talk/do something?"

    "What if what I say/do is...

    Source(s): scared social situations: https://tr.im/PKfAu
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    scared social situations

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    While medications to treat anxiety conditions are often an important component in the management of anxiety, there is also many natural, do-it-yourself techniques that can help calm you down, either in place of medications or as a supplement to them. Learn here https://tr.im/VsyrA

    Next time you're too tense to cope, consider trying one of these natural options for relief.

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  • 9 years ago

    You can expose yourself to more social situations so you get used to them. You can get drunk. No one will care if you act stupid, I do retarded stuff all the time and although I feel bad about it I just realise that everyone makes mistakes and they won't care about it half as much as I did anyway. If you can't get over these problems on your own then see a counseller or even just talk to a friend or parent about it.

  • 5 years ago

    Eliminate Social Anxiety And Shyness - http://tinyurl.com/HENXf1H6BU

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    I can relate to you absolutely,i am exactly like that.I think we need to know that we are good enough and there is nothing wrong with us for people to judge us negatively.maybe we could start focusing on our strengths ,work on them and increase our self esteem and confidence.But i have seen that the more you think about it and fear that you will be judged negatively the more you will attract that to yourself .So just be yourself and after all we are not what people think we are .

    Source(s): My life
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