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Making friends is difficult — especially as an adult. But making friends can be even more difficult for people who experience social anxiety disorder. For people with social anxiety disorder, everyday social interaction — even with established friends — can provoke anxiety. When it comes to making new friends, people with social anxiety may find themselves paralyzed, afraid of saying the wrong thing, or being harshly judged. Even if they know these fears are irrational, social situations still trigger anxiety symptoms.
They may shut down, withdraw, or become noticeably nervous. For those who have social anxiety, but want to make new friends, here are some techniques that can help you feel more comfortable in social situations, opening you up to new connections.
Learning to agree to disagree with these initial reactions can be a way to press through them — and eventually minimize negative beliefs. This is called curiosity training. This means being curious as to what people are saying, rather than absorbing it as an evaluation. Completely silencing negative thoughts rarely works. But avoiding the situations that trigger you can actually make anxiety worse in the long run. Victoria Shaw. For example, you could work your way through these goals if you tend to clam up when meeting new people:.
Working with a therapist may help with identifying where to start — and gradually expanding your comfort zone. I can have all the friends I need over my computer. Why put down the phone then? In-person connections can often be more fulfilling than those online. Yes, online social connections are better than no connections at all.
But ask yourself the question: Are you using tech to avoid social situations? Or do you enjoy it and does it make life a little better — while still balanced with in-person interactions? Social anxiety can sometimes feel all-consuming, and unfamiliar situations with new people can make it worse. To help ease feeling overwhelmed, try a test run before a big event Guy with anxiety problem looking for a new friendship that at least some part of the routine feels familiar.
Talk therapy is always an option for treating any anxiety disorder. When it comes to social anxiety, cognitive behavioral therapy CBT is the most effective treatment. CBT is full of techniques that can help manage your thoughts, emotions, and even physical response to social situations.
One technique a therapist might use is an exposure method. It exposes patients to the dreaded situations and suggests ways to manage fear. For example, you may start with a 3-minute visualization of a specific social scenario or interaction that triggers anxiety.
Over time, you might add more visualization time, expose yourself to the situation in small doses think: saying hello to your baristaand eventually graduate to scarier situations. Self-care is essential for everyone, but especially for people with anxiety. Remember to be kind to yourself and know your limits, and try not to push yourself past your breaking point.
Get sufficient sleep and eat regular, healthy meals. Try to go easy on the booze. Everyone struggles with something in life. Meagan Drillinger is a travel and wellness writer. Her focus is on making the most out of experiential travel while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Visit her blog or Instagram. Social anxiety can cause shaking, sweating, a rapid heart rate, and flushing.
But you can treat it, including talk therapy, medications, and…. Social anxiety can make parties and gatherings a difficult experience. This is how to take control of the situation. Social anxiety and depression can and do often occur together. For many people, social anxiety le to isolation and depression. CBT and other…. Systematic desensitization is a type of exposure therapy that moves at a slower pace. We'll go over how it works and what it might look like for….
People don't always know how to deal with a friend's social anxiety. Here are five ways to be there. Social anxiety can creep up at work, on dates, at parties, and more. Here are just a few ways to get it under control in your daily life. Anxiety is a common mental health condition. For some people, it can interfere with their daily activities. Our registered dietitian discusses the 10…. Some adults report that using a pacifier helps to soothe anxiety symptoms, but is it a safe option? Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, Ph. Share on Pinterest. Agree to disagree with your negative thoughts.
Fight, not flight. Monitor your tech intake. Try a test run. Open up to CBT therapy. Always remember self-care. Read this next. Treating Social Anxiety Disorder.
Medically reviewed by Carissa Stephens, R. Can Anxiety Cause Blurred Vision? Medically reviewed by Jeffrey Ditzell, DO.Guy with anxiety problem looking for a new friendship
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How to Make Friends When You Have Social Anxiety