I’ll admit it; I suffer from social anxiety. It’s mostly kept under control through medication.
I get invited to a wedding, a networking event, or even just a private party with friends and I freak out a little. What will I say the wrong thing? How will people perceive me? There’s always a host of questions swirling around my brain that are neither helpful to the situation or positive for my self-esteem.
In the days leading up to my sister-in-law’s wedding I was so crippled by anxiety that I had an uptick in drinking, lashing out at others and even suicidal ideation. Even though I did not have any involvement with the wedding or the planning, just the thought of seeing my husband’s family and his sister’s future family as well as all the other people was paralyzing. I’ve had similar reactions to smaller events like a team meeting or even just going out in public.
Recently in group therapy we discussed social anxiety and what one can do when faced with the fear, uncertainty, and doubt that come with leaving your comfort zone and dealing with the world. Here are the takeaways I found helpful and have since put into practice:
This is all way easier said than done. Even I acknowledge that I struggle with going to events and dealing with people, especially as I get apprehensive in new situations. However, try some of these skills over time and you may alleviate some of your social anxiety and get a bit of relief.
Good luck, close your browser and go to that party.