Living with social anxiety can feel very debilitating and limiting. Social anxiety can affect your performance at school, work, and your social relationships. Fortunately, people with social anxiety can lead normal, fulfilling lives if they learn how to manage their stress and social anxiety. A few ways to manage social anxiety are as follows:
Making eye contact
Make eye contact with people when you talk to them. It may be very hard in the beginning, but looking someone in the eye shows a sign of respect and that you are paying attention to them. By looking someone in the eye, it also shows that you are self-confident and honest.
Learn to accept compliments. People with social anxieties tend to have a hard time accepting that someone might like how they look or speak or act. Instead of saying thank you to a compliment, someone living with social anxieties may give an excused as to why the compliment should be negated. Compliments are good. Accept them. People do not give out compliments unless they generally mean them.
Learn to be more assertive
Being assertive begins with the previous step, making eye contact. Some people have assertive and aggressive mixed up. Assertive does not mean being mean or evil towards one another. Assertive is the ability to stand up for one’s self. People with social anxiety have a tendency give in to things that they did not agree to or let people treat them in a way that is not positive at all
The views of shyness in Western and Eastern cultures differ greatly. In the East, it is considered polite. In the West, it is considered weak and insecure. Western cultures value open communication skills and having a strong presence. It is because of this that it is hard for someone that is shy to be able to adapt in society without reforming their character. However, this can be done.
People who are shy and have social anxiety are sometimes labelled as self-conscious and timid. People with social anxieties may end up doing things that they do not want to do because they want to feel accepted by their peers. Learn how to say no. This doesn’t mean that you are rude. It simply means that you have learned how to set boundaries for yourself. By doing this (and using eye contact when doing so) people will be less likely to take advantage of you and take you seriously.
Some people say that shyness and social anxiety is due to experiences—if a bad situation happened to you, then it may have turned you into a shy person. For example, we can say if Anna is in school and people in her class say that she talks funny, Anna may end up spending the rest of her school years rarely talking to anyone. It can be quite challenging to live with social anxiety. However, these challenges can be overcome with practice exercises and determination.
Note: It’s always best to consult a doctor.