Social anxiety symptoms can help you differentiate shyness from social anxiety; you must have a clear distinction between regular and innocent shyness (which is pretty common among millions of people) and social anxiety.
It is normal for a guy to get shy in new environments, among new people, new situations, or around people that intimidate you (like attractive girls for example). Shyness fades away once you get comfortable in any of these situations and you can go on with your life just fine. Let’s just say that being a shy guy is not that big of a deal.
On the other hand, social anxiety is a disorder; an actual mental disorder that can affect your life big time, social anxiety can completely destroy your work life, social life, and dating life. It is generally characterized by the persistent fear of social situations, feeling like you’ll be embarrassed or judged at all times, and usually ends up with complete avoidance of any situation that you think might get awkward or that requires any kind social effort from you.
Social anxiety is accompanied by constant self-judgment; common thoughts come in the form of:
These kinds of thoughts are persistent social anxiety symptoms, all kinds of negative thought loops that are only showing and feeding a negative self-image. Constantly thinking that you cannot engage in any kind of social interaction without any of those thoughts becoming true is a common social anxiety symptom.
I used to obsess about these ideas all day back in my bad days; they all just led me to feel trapped inside my own house/life/brain.
Having to do a presentation for school, going to your friend’s birthday party, going to that place for the first time, going on a date, going to a job interview, etc., are all situations that cause days/weeks/months of worrying beforehand.
None of those events have even occurred, but the thoughts about it fill you with massive amounts of anxiety. This anxiety feels almost worse that the actual event itself.
One of the common social anxiety symptoms is that of constantly, obsessively, and undoubtedly thinking that in any given social situation you are being judged, and as a consequence you must ‘perform’ perfectly.
You feel judged by everyone; from the stunner girl that you think wouldn’t even give you the time a day, to your cousin’s toddler who you think sees you as a creepy and scary guy.
I remember being highly intimidated of being mocked by high school kids even though I was 5+ years older than them, ridiculous.
Together with the fear of being judged comes the fear of performing badly in social situations and embarrassing yourself.
Since you think everyone is out there looking at how awkward you are then you also think that you must act perfect so that they will ‘like you’, the result is ‘fear of performance’, as if you were about to give your Nobel prize speech in any given silly social situations.
Some of the physical social anxiety symptoms include:
It’s ok to not particularly want to go out clubbing on Saturday night, but social anxiety goes beyond this. Social anxiety causes you to completely want to stay away from social situations.
Limiting you to only what is strictly necessary, and sometimes even sacrificing your own needs and desires for the sake of avoiding social situations.
When you’re out with your one friend or relative, you let them do the talking while not trying to draw much attention to yourself and deal with the nightmare of having to participate in the conversation.
The need to always have some sort of ‘social shield’ in the form of a buddy everywhere you go.
Well, there’s no other way you can bear with the anxiety, right?
While some of those social anxiety symptoms are common in most shy persons, they become displays of a bigger issue when they start interfering with your social life.
While the only person who can certainly diagnose you with social anxiety is a therapist; feeling identified with these social anxiety symptoms certainly tells you that you are onto something depending on how bad it can get to be.
This was me a few years back, shy, awkward, and terrified. There is a ‘way out’, I found the way out of it through research, taking action, and persistence.
The only person that can diagnose you with social anxiety is a competent authority; don’t assume you have it just from reading about it on the internet. However, these are the main social anxiety symptoms and if you feel identified with them, then that might be a sign, just remember that the way to get out of it is to go out and get social.
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