October Scaries: Social Anxiety and Social Phobia

October Scaries: Social Anxiety and Social Phobia

Social anxiety! Almost everyone has it.

I'm sure the majority of us, at one point or another, has experienced anxiety about socializing with somebody. That little bit of trepidation before you walk into your first day of work, that hiccup of anxiety as you enter a party, or that discomfort when the person sitting next to you on a plane just keeps asking you questions.

But, those small social anxieties are very different from social phobia.

Rather than experiencing a small amount of anxiety that we can easily push through, having a social phobia means that anxiety is debilitating. You're too anxious about that party, so you never go in in the first place. Rather than going to work on your first day, you call in sick or make up an excuse. 

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Social Media, Stress, and Changing Habits - Part 1

Social Media, Stress, and Changing Habits - Part 1

Because I specialize in anxiety, I know how frequently addictive behaviors can co-occur.

I even have clients on my schedule specifically because of their media addiction, with anxiety as the underlying concern. So, I was so happy to talk with Huffington Post earlier this year on "going dry for a month" regarding tech, social media, and smartphones.

The reason addictive behaviors can occur so frequently is because anxiety is tough to deal with. And an anxious mind feels better when it’s distracting itself with media, sugar, or alcohol. All can be self-medicating behaviors.

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Anxiety and the Need to Be Liked

Anxiety and the Need to Be Liked

People pleasers unite! 

Unsurprisingly, people with anxiety in general tend to have social anxiety as well. And that need to be liked, that shaping of your behaviors and reactions to try and cultivate a positive response from another, is seen across the lifespan.

Some of this is healthy, such as matching tone or engaging in receptive communication, and some of this is unhealthy, like when we feel that we need approval in order to get on with our day. 

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