Why introverts are prone to social anxiety and what we can do about it

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The following is a guest post by Sam Davis. You can read more about Sam at the end of the post.

IntrovertZone.com has done a great job of making it clear that introversion is a positive personality trait. In spite of that, we introverts are not without our weaknesses. I have noticed that introverts are more prone to social anxiety than extroverts are.

Since my area of expertise is in solving people’s social anxiety, I want to explain why introverts are prone to social anxiety, and what you can do about it if you personally struggle with feeling anxious in social situations.

Why are introverts prone to social anxiety?

I figured out that what causes social anxiety is the desire that one has, to avoid certain outcomes from happening within social situations. This truth becomes obvious when you consider that in any situation where anxiety occurs, there is always something (an outcome) that the anxious person wants NOT to happen…

In an exam, we want to avoid failing. In sport, we want to avoid losing. And in social situations, often we want to avoid people not liking us, or thinking we’re stupid.

Here’s where this is especially relevant to introverts:

When you are feeling like having some alone time, yet you find yourself amongst people, you will have an inner desire to avoid the outcomes where you’d have to interact with the people around you.

In other words, your introverted desire to avoid social interaction, and the reality that you probably will have to interact, can contribute to the triggering of social anxiety, at the times when you might have to interact.

Like I said before, introversion is a positive quality, but just like extroversion, it comes with minor downsides, and for introverts, being prone to social anxiety is one of the downsides. So what can we do about that?

2 tips for introverts on reducing social anxiety

- When you are in an introverted mood, you must give yourself the alone time that you need to re-energize, at the earliest possible opportunity. I don’t think there’s any way around this; no way to authentically make yourself feel like socializing. We must recharge our batteries. Alone.

So that’s my first tip. And if you can, use your alone time creatively. Introverts can be incredibly creative when left to our own devices. We’re independent thinkers. We don’t need teamwork.

- My second (and main) tip for defeating social anxiety is this: when you feel like being alone, but you can’t be alone at a particular time, try NOT to resist the likelihood that you’re going to have to interact with people. The more you resist it, the more anxiety you’ll get. Make it clear in your mind that you WILL have to interact, and try to accept this reality.

The reason this is my main tip is that when we accept that the outcomes we desire to avoid will happen, we’re then left with no desire to avoid anything. And with no remaining desire to avoid, no social anxiety can be triggered!

Social Anxiety is really no cause for alarm unless you feel that it is restricting your life. If it’s doing that, I can help you to establish an exciting social life by showing you how to become socially comfortable. See my bio below!

Bio:

Sam Davis runs SocialAnxietySolved.com, where he uses his own prior experience of beating his social anxiety, to help others become socially comfortable and build thriving social lives too.

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6 Comments

  1. I agree with the wanting avoid certain situations. As an introvert, I can some it up as we just too aware for our own good and we overanalyze things. Maybe in France, people are more inclined to be introverted so it isn’t a big deal..( I heard ppl walk around with a poker face all the time!!), but here in the states it’s a different story, people will stick a label on you and never let it go!

  2. I suppose everyone has some degree of introversion. I know I certainly do. Sometimes a person has not been taught how to effectively act in social situations. Some of us learn to “fake” it in those times of stress and that seems to be a reason so much of active society seems to be superficial. Maybe we could all use a little better toilet training or something.

  3. i am completely agree with you that introverts are more creative than others because they don’t need anyone and feels comfortable while thinking alone and than comes some superb ideas.

  4. I am 32 years of age. For the overwhelming majority of my life, I’ve been a self-confident extrovert.

    During the summer of 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck, flooding my home (for which I had no flood insurance), and all earthly possessions. I had started a business toward that year, and in the months leading up to the storm, we had experienced considerable growth which earned me the opportunity to liquidate about $4.5 million in the previous year’s merchandise. The contract was scheduled to be signed the day the levees broke.

    Determined to prevent a circumstance over which I had no control mark the end of my entrepreneurial career, I devoted my every making moment attempting m to make up ground lost as a result the storm.

    Due to the excessive workload I was enduring at the time, I had no time for a social life and that fact in another itself took a very big toll on me. For 7 years I effectively did not even so much as date, was celibate during that time. And my self-confidence and naturally extroverted personality became a thing of the past.

    It wasn’t until all of my hard work and dedication toward rebuilding my career following Hurricane Katrina began to yield fruit and I begin to see the benefits of my labor in the form of earning a decent living that I started to snap out of it.

    By this time I had moved to a new state was working approximately 18 hours a day had no friends, and new no members of the opposite sex attractive enough to meet for me to consider dating. Just when my new business which I founded in January 2011 had started to turn the corner and for the first time since Katrina I could look in the mirror and see a man who is successful, The woman of my dreams messaged me on Facebook which for what it’s worth is a part of the workplace for me.

    A little over a year and a half ago we arranged our first ever date and since that day I have been the Peter Egan I have come to know throughout the vast majority of my 32 years on this earth. She and I are still together and as of now my tentative plan is to propose to her on her birthday which is in the middle of January.

    I apologize for being long-winded, but my point effectively is that as a man my self-confidence and personality type relative to introversion or extroversion directly related to the amount of success in my professional life.
    Peter Egan´s last post ..Prenatal Cradle vs Best Cradle

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