A lot of people who think that they are just shy actually suffer from social phobia, experts say. Also known as social anxiety, it’s something that can keep an individual from doing all sorts of things that can prevent happiness and fulfillment in his or her social, romantic and professional life.
Wondering if you have social phobia? Here are some of the telltale signs that you might have it:
Changes in Your Appearance Terrify You
Do you feel like locking yourself up in your room each time you have a pimple or you ran out of your favorite shade of lipstick? Chances are you have social phobia, most especially if your reason for not going out is you feel that people will make fun of the way you look.
Always thinking about what other people might think of you is usually a sign of social phobia.
Everybody Seems to Look Down on You
Going to school or work every day leaves you anxious because you feel that everybody is secretly looking down on you. You don’t want to open your mouth to share ideas or ask questions because you believe that your classmates or co-workers will start rolling their eyes or giggling once they’re out of your sight.
Your social phobia is fueled by your observation that everyone seems to be getting along just fine.
You Skip Going to Social Events
Regardless if it’s the wedding of your best friend or the birthday party of your sister, you always make excuses not to go. Actually, you want to be there because, after all, it’s a special moment in the life of someone you care about. However, your mind is teeming with thoughts that no one would want to see you there.
Oftentimes, you think that you might only end up embarrassing yourself in front of other people.
Social Media Updates Have to be Edited Again and Again
Because you steer clear of social events, you resort to social media to stay in touch with others. Since you are focused on what others might think of you, every status update you want to make has to be amended incessantly before posting because you don’t want to sound desperate or stupid.
It’s true that social media allows you to hide, but it’s something that can actually feed your social phobia.
Your Smartphone is Your Constant Sidekick
No, you don’t use your smartphone because no one is talking to you. You use your smartphone because you don’t want anyone to talk to you. Just the thought of someone approaching you is enough to leave you sweating profusely, and that’s why you pretend to be busy on your smartphone to fend off everybody.
People with social phobia have many tricks up their sleeves, like pretending they’re listening to music or asleep.
Anonymity Gives You Utmost Confidence
Does your fear of getting in touch with people disappear all of a sudden each time you are anonymous, such as when playing online video games or participating in online forums? You are not the shy and silent you each time you have the opportunity to hide your true identity.
You may be suffering from social phobia if you are no longer confident and relaxed without anonymity.
If you have one or more of the above and you feel that you are no longer living a normal life, it’s a good idea for you to seek the help of a therapist.