This novel, Coronavirus, is a dark cloud that seems to be sweeping through the world causing much confusion, chaos, destruction, and disconnection.
Extraverts seem to be having a much more difficult time with this than their introverted counterparts. As we take time away from work and other social activities, it can be relaxing, recharging, and an overall refreshing change of pace.
Of course, it may be nice to escape the status quo and hustle and bustle of our typical lives, but does the thought of going back into the workplace give you an unsettling feeling.
Do you dread the thought of having to once again interact with your managers, coworkers, or customers? Are you just keen on practicing safe social distancing, or is it really just social anxiety?
Social anxiety is crippling. It comes from a place of mistrust and can lead to fear of others and uncertainty about outcomes of situations. What are some of the causes of social anxiety, and what are some ways to combat it? I will discuss that a little further here.
Vulnerability is a quality that involves being open, transparent, and authentic. This is a fear for many people. We fear vulnerability to avoid being hurt, judged, or embarrassed. Ironically, when we accept our natural, human vulnerability, we are able to build more meaningful connections with others.
Not only that, but also, people generally tend to be more accepting than we might believe them to be—contrary even, to our previous experiences.
Fear of failure causes immense anxiety. Fear tells us, “This won’t end well.” And, we base this assumption on our past experiences. Truthfully, we don’t know how certain events in our lives will work out, we can only try to predict them. In the famous words of American psychologist Dr. Irvin Yalom, “The best way to stop a catastrophe from happening, is to predict it.”
Instead of assuming things won’t end well, try preparing for these social situations through practice and research; familiarize yourself with social expectations, and maintain positive self-talk.
Finally, fear of the unknown is another reason why social anxiety seems to take a foothold in our lives. When we don’t know exactly what to expect, we go into fight, flight, or freeze mode. Fear can be immobilizing. It can cause us to be stagnant in our relationships, careers, and overall personal growth.
By exposing ourselves to and becoming familiar with the things that frighten us, over time, they simply become less frightening. Taking that first step is usually the hardest part.
About Sam Nabil
Sam was featured in many prestigious publications. Check out his interview with Aljazeera English
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