Social Phobia in Real Life

Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki of tv series The Big Bang TheoryPhoto: Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki of tv series The Big Bang Theory.

Dialogue from an episode :

Sheldon (Jim Parsons): “You have about as much chance of going out with Penny as the Hubble Telescope has of finding that at the center of each black hole there’s a little man with a flashlight trying to find the circuit breaker.”

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Social Phobia in Real Life

By Bertil Hjert

Social anxiety disorder affects millions of Americans and leaves men and women, young and old alike with performance anxiety related to a great deal of different situations and interactions.

The seemingly innocuous, normal, everyday interactions can drive a social anxiety sufferer to distraction or panic.

These feelings of self conscious anxiety can strike anywhere and at anytime.

For example, when waiting in line, a man was convinced that everyone was looking at him and the gigantic tray of food he was carrying. Everyone was staring at him and he could only imagine what they were thinking.

He started to sweat, worrying about who was watching him and became incredibly self conscious. He fumbles in his wallet, trying to remove the money but his shaking hands only cause his anxiety to rise further.

Analyzing what happened to poor Al and his cafeteria tray, it’s easy to say that he overreacted and that’s definitely true.

It’s probable that no one even noticed his tray and if they did they probably didn’t think much of it.

How many times do you actually focus on what someone else is eating unless they slip and everything goes flying through the air in a spectacular crash?

This is the essence of social phobia, self conscious overreaction to perceived negative attention from others or the fear such negative attention will occur.

Whether you suffer from social phobia or not, this is a feeling we can all relate to.

Everyone has been embarrassed or self conscious at some time or another.

You wouldn’t be human if that wasn’t the case. However, for most people these feelings emerge in appropriate and warranted circumstances and are not frequent sensations.

For people suffering from social phobia, embarrassment or rather the fear of embarrassment is a perpetual, negative force that colors their actions, feelings and interactions.

Janice needs to call the repairman about fixing her gutters, they’re leaking and one is dangling off the side of the house. It is a fairly urgent problem but Janice has been unable to make this call for a week.

She is worried about what she’ll say to whoever picks up the phone, how she’ll be received and what he will think of her request. She’s afraid she’ll speak to someone she doesn’t know and embarrass herself or say something stupid.

Most of all she doesn’t want to disturb anyone who might be engaged in other, more important business.

For most people reading this, this sounds silly; the repairman is happy to hear from you and take your money. Call him everyday if you want!

But once again, this is where social phobia comes into play. It is an unfounded, unnecessary and disproportionate fear or worry.

If any of these situations ring a bell, you might be dealing with social phobia. The effects on your life could be small or they could be dramatic.

However you may be affected, the condition can be treated and eliminated.

Ridding yourself of social phobia begins with recording your worries, analyzing your reactions or the reactions of others and desensitizing yourself to these feelings as you interact and proceed with your life.

>> Download your free eBook “Stop Panic Attacks and Deal with Your Anxious Thoughts” at Panic Goodbye.

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See more articles by Bertil Hjert.

Bertil Hjert is author of the Panic Goodbye program.

This program includes 7 eBooks about relieving Panic and Anxiety Attacks, Agoraphobia, OCD, and Social Phobia; using Abdominal Breathing & Meditation, Body & Mind relaxation, Yoga & Progressive Muscle Relaxation.

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