It’s no secret that rates of anxiety and depression have risen drastically in the modern American context. A cacophony of factors is to blame–everything from the decline of faith, loss of community, and digital media addiction. And for many, even when the possibility of social interaction arrives, the anxiety kicks in and leaves them feeling immobile and paralyzed. So, what can we do to practice confidence and ease in public situations? A new article at Psyche goes into depth on practical steps people can take to overcome social anxiety. The first recommendation is goal-setting. What’s your vision? What are the goalposts you’re shooting for in life? Fallon Goodman writes,
Goals will guide you as you work through your social anxiety, so a good place to start is to think about what matters to you. Identify areas of your social life that you want to improve, such as:
- finding a romantic partner;
- making more friends;
- speaking up more in group settings;
- being more assertive; or
- meeting new people.
Reminding yourself of your ‘why’ (your goals) helps you stay motivated and keep at it.-Fallon Goodman, How to overcome social anxiety | Psyche Guides
Without an overarching goal, we can’t effectively practice the steps that can get us over social anxiety. So that’s the first step. In addition, defining social anxiety is crucial: fundamentally it’s a kind of performance anxiety. We’re afraid of rejection. What does dealing with that fear look like? Be sure to read the rest of the article for more practical steps.