5 ways of thinking that perpetuate your social anxiety
If you have social anxiety, I’m sure you can relate to how difficult it can be to stay focused and present and how quickly negative thoughts can spin out of control. At least that's been my experience, both in daily life and as a coach, so I wanted to share 5 ways of thinking that perpetuate your anxiety and what you can do about it....
You Believe You Can Guess What Other People Think of You
Those of us with social anxiety have a tendency to think we can ‘read other people’s minds’. (Read: We jump to conclusions about what other people think of us without having any hard evidence.) And guess what… those conclusions are almost always negative and incorrect. Instead, when you catch yourself spinning, gently remind yourself that it's just a made up story. At least until there's solid proof.
2. You Feel as If People Are Constantly Paying Close Attention to You
We’re aware of every move and facial expression we make and sometimes it feels like it’s being closely monitored by everyone when in reality most people don’t even notice what we’re are doing… And even if they do pay attention remember, it's more than likely not for the purpose of judging.
3. You View Other People as Super Social and Super Confident
Society can have us thinking that everyone else is extroverted with perfect social skills and we’re the only ones who can’t get it together but guess what... other people also have insecurities about social interactions and are probably too dang worried about being liked and accepted by you to even notice your anxiety.
4. You Focus on the Negative Parts of Social Interactions
Even if the whole social interaction was going well, but there was that ONE moment where things got awkward, you’ll still ruminate about those awkward moments and feel like the whole interaction was unsuccessful. Instead of focusing on the negative parts of your social interactions, try to focus on the general picture and give yourself props for not only showing up but the positive parts of the interaction.
5. You Underestimate Your Social Skills
People with social anxiety often underestimate their social skills and believe themselves to be socially incompetent. You may believe that everyone has better social skills than you when really they don't. You just falsely believe it and inhibit yourself from interacting and proving that you are, in fact, good at socializing.
You are the leading authority in your life. Be sure to be your own cheerleader in the process.
Over to you:
What's your go-to way to bring it in and ground yourself when you notice that you're spinning in anxiety or stress? Share in the comments below!