We all can experience a bout of anxiousness when we’re in a social situation. When meeting new people for the first time or if we have to speak publicly in front of an audience, anxiety can sometimes get the better of us and we may become nervous, start sweating and doubting ourselves – maybe even panic a little. Social anxiety can occur in anyone, and most people have some social anxieties of one sort or another, as the desire to be accepted and liked by those around you may cause you to conform. A wide range of feelings toward an even wider range of social settings and scenarios can fall under the umbrella of ‘social anxiety:
- Worrying about what to wear for a social occasion.
- Being apprehensive to enter a room full of strangers.
- Unwilling to eat in front of other people
Though not pleasant, it is only once these anxieties consume the individual, causing extreme difficulties to their ability to function, that they may be diagnosed with a social anxiety disorder, also known as a social phobia. Social anxiety disorders prompt an avoidance of various social situations in order to negate the mere possibility of external evaluation, criticism, embarrassment, and humiliation.
The experience of social anxiety is an unavoidable aspect of day-to-day living, but some social situations are more important than others. Job interviews, first dates, speaking in a public presentation; succumbing to anxiety during these situations can have lasting ramifications on the rest of your life.