What Is Social Anxiety?

For most people, social anxiety starts during their teenage years and goes away as they get older.

By Lola, London · April 10, 2019


Pic: Unsplash/ Alexis Brown

What even is social anxiety?

Social anxiety is a fear of social situations.



Do you have social anxiety?

If you find yourself avoiding social situations because you’re scared of being judged or being viewed as awkward, you may have it. You may also have it if when you can’t avoid a situation when you start to sweat and feel distressed. An example of a situation is ordering food and finding this process challenging. Someone with social anxiety may feel distressed and sweaty when doing this or faced with the prospect of having to do it.



Other symptoms include:

-always worrying about what you’re doing

-being watched and judged by other people

-avoiding eye contact and have low self-esteem

-increased heartbeat and feeling sick in social situations

If you feel that you have social anxiety you can speak to your local GP.

Are there things to help social anxiety?

Social anxiety can be difficult to manage, but there are many things you can do to help. While self-help won’t cure social anxiety, it can reduce it.

Try to understand more about your anxiety, how you feel in social situations and how may you tackle your problems.

Don’t think too much about what others think of you.

Try do the activities that you would normally avoid, for example meeting up with your friends more.



Is social anxiety common?

According to Anxiety UK, Social anxiety affects 6 million people in the UK. Research shows that 1 in 6 young people will experience some type of anxiety at some point in their lives. Women are more likely to experience anxiety, according to the BBC.