Learn to overcome anxiety and shyness with these strategies. Four inspiring women show you how. Read More
Thank you for sharing these stories. It is wonderful to hear about individuals who have taken steps to overcome social anxiety, and hopefully their stories will inspire others. I think these stories also highlight the difference between introversion and social anxiety. An introvert is a person who is energized by being alone and can feel drained in social situations. Research has shown that introverts have a lot to offer society, because they tend to be introspective. However, up until recently the quality of extroversion has been more valued in our culture. It is important to value both characteristics and acknowledge the positive qualities of both introverts and extroverts.
Social anxiety, on the other hand, is different from introversion. Individuals with social anxiety find it distressing to engage in social situations because they are concerned that others are judging them and/or they are concerned about their performance. Social anxiety can interfere with a person's work, school, and other activities. The article highlights that there are ways to overcome social anxiety so individuals can enjoy their life.
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Reading this certainly made me feel better when I'm down on myself for not being more talkative.
It is so important to share stories like these. I have heard of the Disney t-shirt project before and think it is wonderful. One of the big problems with social anxiety is that nobody talks about it. People who aren't socially anxious obviously don't talk about it - and those who are, generally are too afraid to speak about their experiences. We don't see people with SAD on talk shows, in positions of authority, or any other figure heads that speak to a general audience. There are no role models for people with SAD to look up to -- there really are no people to make you feel normal. It would be great if one person with SAD could do for the disorder what Susan Cain has done for introversion. Bring it out of the shadows.
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Dr. Barbara Markway, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist with over twenty years of experience. She is the author of four popular psychology books and has been featured in media nationwide.
When and how should we open up to loved ones?