Learning how to overcome social anxiety was the first step towards the recovery of my social life, it allowed me to live the social life I wanted: get friends, dating options and having no social limitations. All I ever dreamed of since I realized I was a socially awkward kid, you know, just wanting to be a normal kid and not the shyness-driven kid I was.
I’m sure you can relate to letting shyness control your life, avoiding the situations that make you uncomfortable and as a result having no social life! Yes, that was me too.
Getting through it and learning how to overcome social anxiety is no easy task, well… it kind of is if you’re just willing to go through all the discomfort that will come with the whole process and have the patience to keep working on yourself for a long time.
One way or another, your life has led you to this point where social anxiety dominates most of it.
The associations and thought patterns that you normally indulge in have caused this emotion of anxiety to rise up whenever you’re anticipating any kind social situation, when you are in a social situations or even after any social situation.
The reason why you feel anxiety in those social situation is linked to how you perceive the situations, how you perceive other people and how you perceive yourself. The first thing you must realize is that your perception when it comes to social situations and everything that revolves around them might be wrong.
When I first started working on learning how to overcome social anxiety; I had to overcome the fact that my perception of the world was wrong. It wasn’t a very comfortable feeling at all.
I had to understand that:
You know, just the general ideas one can get of how the world works that are just complete lies. However, it takes time for these ideas to truly get out of your head and get replaced by ideas that build up your self-esteem.
And this will be your ultimate goal; social success, self-esteem, confidence, charisma, etc. All those positive social attributes come from a positive self-perception and a positive perception of the world.
Understand that changing your perception is the most important part because once realize that by changing perception you are changing your reactions to social situations, interpretations of them and also the reactions of others toward you.
Don’t set huge goals for yourself, set small achievable goals. Big goals can be scary and demotivating, one small goal leads to the next and it’s definitely the way to start.
Ask yourself: ‘where am I at right now? – Socially speaking’
Whatever your current situation is, there is always a first step to take. In my case; I only had one friend who just usually made fun of me but kept me around cause I was the shy kid that followed him around – Sad story, I know!
I definitely had to meet new people and put myself around new social circles. So, I started joining social activities where I was bound to meet new people.
All the new situations I was getting myself into made me extremely uncomfortable, but I UNDERSTOOD that I had to walk out of my comfort zone so that I could build comfort in new areas, and I was COMMITTED to learnign how to overcome social anxiety no matter what, those ideas allowed me to be willing to go through the massive discomfort.
Sure, your bedroom is your ‘safe zone’, but learning how to overcome social anxiety requires you to be out there with people building confidence and comfort in real world social situations. You can’t expect your social life to change without changing your social habits.
You will only start getting the life you want by starting to live the life you want.
The physical symptoms of social anxiety will still be there, they will not disappear until you start feeling comfort around people and until you start feeling confident in your capabilities.
However, to get there you’ve got to plow through the physical symptoms, this means:
Bottom line: your willingness to go through the hardships of the process is what will help you on the whole process of how to overcome social anxiety.
Once you integrate yourself into a social group, it’s pretty easy to get ‘lost’ and think that your anxiety days are over. Getting comfortable in your new comfort zone is good but if you want your social skills to get better as you get older, you must keep expanding that comfort zone.
Finally getting a group of friends felt really good for me and I was pretty happy, but, I would had still been the shy awkward guy in every other area of my life if I had just sat there comfortably. Dramas are normal in social groups and being involved in any kind of social circle drama sucks and can actually become hurtful.
You want to practice your social skills as much as you can, getting multiple groups to hang out with helps you get all the experience from different perspectives.
In a nutshell: