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How to overcome social anxiety?

I feel I have social anxiety. Whenever I need to go out I will put my earphones in and listen to my music playlist to avoid speaking to people. I take longer routes to places where there'll be fewer people or people who don't know me so they won't talk to me. If I'm in the shops I try keeping my earphones in to avoid speaking to the staff and other shoppers.

Whenever I take buses I try to always sit on my own, with my earphones in. I've made friends with almost everyone in my class, but I've never been on a night out or just out in general with anyone of them. I also don't contact anyone outside of uni apart from family and my best friend.

I've spoken to my GP about this but she doesn't believe me and won't do anything about it. The reason she doesn't believe me is because she says I'm a very outgoing person. I'm only my real self when I'm around people I've known for a very long time. I would really like to overcome social anxiety but I wouldn't know where to start or what steps to take.
In order to overcome social anxiety you need to put yourself in more social situations. It may be anxiety inducing at first but over time your brain is learning how to cope in these situations and you won't feel as anxious.

List behaviors you do in social situations. E.g., putting your earphones in and avoiding people, for you. They're called 'safe' behaviors. And try not to do these in social situations. E.g., leave your earphones at home so when you go to a shop you won't avoid people. Do this regularly , not just once. It is a step-by-step process and an essential learning curve.
I had bad social anxiety too. But by putting myself in more social situations instead of avoiding them, I don't get as nervous. Good luck :smile:!
Reply 2
Social skills:

Be open, relaxed, approachable, friendly, lighten up

0) You can try nlp exercises, meditation, breathing techniques, visualisation. You can read books on this subject and there is a wealth of resources on the internet, youtube regarding this subject.

1) Relax, imagine you're just observing or there as a traveller. For example, if you are on holiday, you go there to experience and observe the attraction, you're not going to get anxious doing that are you?2) Smile, smiling in contagious.

3) Be confident, respect yourself, accept yourself, work out, wear good clothes, feel good, focus on your passions, know you are a good person who treats people well, you have got as much right as everyone else.Think positively, be proud of yourself, do things that make you happy, remember your happy times, what makes you confident? What makes you proud? Do you have a skill you are good at? Do things like cooking, driving, learning that increases your confidence daily. Relax.Have good posture, body language, improve your appearance. Be happy with yourself.

4) Dress well, have good grooming, hairstyle, have good posture.

5) Just say hi or hey to people in your vicinity, who cares if they don't say anything back?

6) Ask how they are, how's everything, how's it going, what's the latest, what made them choose this course, their plans for the future, their plans for the rest of the day, weekend, how was their weekend, their day, what they will get up to, what they got up to, ask them about their hobbies, talk about what's happening. You could read up on current affairs.Talk about the weather or did you see that sports game? Just mingle with them,Compliment them, say "I like your jacket".If you know they went on a holiday or somewhere, ask them about it etc.

7) Be passionate about life.

8) In group discussions, relax and talk to someone close or if someone says something you know, you can talk then. Stay relaxed.

9) Lighten up, have a laugh, laugh easily, be friendly, approachable, interested, relaxed.

10) You can write things down and come up with a rational reframed response, keep a journal of your thoughts, reach out to people slowly
Reply 3
It's quite common for social anxiety to be misunderstood as just being shy or introverted, particularly if you come across as outgoing in familiar settings. I've been through that.
One thing I found helpful was starting small with my social interactions. Instead of avoiding the shop staff, I started by just saying hello or thank you. These mini victories slowly started to build up my confidence.
Also, breathing exercises helped, especially in moments when I felt overwhelmed in public spaces.
It's incredibly important to surround yourself with supportive people, like the friends you've made in class. Maybe you could let one or two of them know what you're going through.
I also recommend reading up on techniques for managing anxiety. The one I personally prefer is meditation. It helped me increase my self-awareness.
Overcoming social anxiety doesn't happen overnight, but with patience and persistent effort, it's possible to make significant improvements.
(edited 5 months ago)

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