Social Anxiety can make you:

  • Feel dreadful of everyday activities, such as meeting new PAH, starting conversations, even speaking on the phone or going to work or out to shop
  • Avoid, disengage and worry intensely about any social activities (such as having a drink with friends or eating out or attending any social parties)
  • Always feel like whatever you do or think is embarrassing (such as seating, blushing, appearing inattentive/incompetent/quiet
  • Feel like you cannot do things that make you happy or express yourself the way you feel when others are watching. It might be that you are felling like someone is constantly watching and judging you all the time.
  • Worry about criticism and give you low self esteem leading to avoiding eye contact with anyone you communicate
  • Might make you have feelings of sickness, sweating, trembling and/or palpitations
  • In worse situations it can even cause panic attacks, even when you are having an overwhelming sense of anxiety and fear.

When Does It Happen ?

Common Situations can include but not restricted when :

  • Talking to strangers
  • Speaking in public
  • Dating
  • Making eye contact
  • Entering rooms
  • Using public restrooms
  • Going to parties
  • Eating in front of other people
  • Going to school or work
  • Starting conversations

Some of the above mentioned situations might not be the cause of trigger for your anxiety. Speaking might be easy but attending a social event might be a complete nightmare. Or you might be great at one to one conversations but find it extremely overwhelming when you are stepping into a bigger crowd of Pups and Handlers.

All Pups and Handlers with social anxiety have various reasons for dreading certain situations. But all in all it is an overwhelming fear of :

  • Being judged in social situations
  • Feeling embarrassed or humiliated
  • Accidentally offending someone
  • Being the centre of attention

How can it affect you?

It can most certainly give you low self esteem, negative thoughts and depression, sensitivity to criticism and make your social skills worsen rather than improve. Ultimately, it can most definitely affect your potential already existing mental health conditions and bring you into a downward spiral by triggering them.

[Citation: NHS]

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