Many people feel anxious when they are faced with the task of standing in front of a group of strangers and giving a speech. These feelings are normal and typically not debilitating. If, however, the thought of meeting a stranger, attending a crowded party or giving a speech makes you so anxious that it consumes you, you may be suffering from social phobia.
The Social Phobia Test
If you think that your anxiety may be a bit more serious than average, answer these questions: Do you experience high levels of anxiety in the following situations?
- Speaking to a large group of strangers?
- Phoning a person that you don't know?
- Being the center of attention?
- Saying something wrong or being misunderstood in front of others?
- Performing an activity in front of others?
If you answered yes to these questions, you may be suffering from social phobia. Continue reading to understand why:
Speaking to a Group
Most people would prefer to not have to stand up in front of a group of people and give a speech, but most people can complete the task with relative ease. People who experience social phobia often worry about speaking in front of strangers to the point of physical illness. For people with true anxiety, the thought of speaking in front of strangers can make them nauseous, weak in the knees and even make their heart race.
Phoning a Stranger
For most people, calling up the delivery service and ordering dinner isn't even something that they have to think about. For people that suffer with social phobia, even the thought of picking up the phone can cause anxiety symptoms to set in. While the average person has no worries about phoning someone they don't know, a person with social phobia is so uncomfortable at the thought that they often can't bring themselves to complete the task.
Being the Center of Attention
There are people in this world that virtually light up when they have the opportunity to be the center of attention. For others, the thought of having everyone's eyes trained on them is enough to make them want to run and hide. Whether it's due to shyness, a lack of self-esteem or a perceived oddity, some people have no desire to have attention place upon them. If the thought of having a group of people paying attention to no one else but you makes you light headed and ill, you may be suffering from social phobia.
Saying Something Wrong
No one wants to hurt anyone's feelings purposely, nor does anyone enjoy giving the wrong answer in a classroom full of people. There are some people, however, for whom the thought of saying something wrong is so overwhelming that they don't speak at all. If you find yourself in a social situation and are so worried about saying something wrong that you choose to not speak, you may have social anxiety.
Performing in Front of People
Most people don't worry about performing an activity in front of others. Whether it's participating in gym class, taking part in a work activity or simply socializing, group activities can be a fun way to socialize and meet new people. For people with social phobia, however, performing an activity in front of others can be simply paralyzing. These people are overwhelmed with the thought that everyone will be watching them and that they'll do something to embarrass themselves. If the above situations seem to fit you perfectly, you aren't alone. Millions of people in the world suffer with social phobia on some level. While some anxiety can be healthy and help you to perform at your best, crippling levels of anxiety aren't healthy and can wreak havoc on your emotional well-being. If you find yourself suffering with social phobia, there are steps you can take to cure your illness. There are natural remedies that you can take, confidence-building tricks that you can practice and even professional help if you feel that you need it. No matter how you choose to overcome your social phobia, it's important for your emotional health that you start taking steps to cure it. While you may never be totally comfortable in group situations, you can learn mechanisms that will help you to cope and that will keep your levels of anxiety low.
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