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!
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.