Social anxiety is an extremely common psychological condition. A person with social anxiety may experience debilitating fear and distress at the notion of other judging him or her negatively. The symptoms may strike anyone at any time, and someone who was embarrassed about a situation in which they froze up or did not handle a social interaction according to the ‘norm’ might fear a repeat.
Experts use complex complex scales and questionnaires to diagnose social anxiety, but a study performed by Ryerson University’s Meagan MacKenzie and colleagues found that the best treatment for the condition is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) rather than Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). ACT involves learning to accept the feelings and finding a way in which to handle them.
Do I Have Social Anxiety?
If you have a constant, persistent fear of being judged or humiliated by your own actions in social situations, and the fear is so intense that it interferes with normal social interactions, you may have social anxiety. You may even experience physical symptoms such as stomach discomfort, nausea and difficulty speaking coherently because your mind goes blank. You may blush, tremble, or sweat profusely.
Many people with social anxiety try to avoid certain social situations and will fret about upcoming events for weeks. They may suffer from low self-esteem and or depression, and when faced with a social interaction, they may be unable to maintain eye contact, have a rigid posture and speak quietly.
Perhaps you are aware that your fears are irrational or excessive, but you simply can’t help yourself. You may realize that your fear is not proportional to the actual threat the situation poses.
Conquer Social Anxiety FIERCEly
One of the leading causes of overwhelm in people suffering from social anxiety, is the fact that we anticipate events far into the future. We develop a sense of dread about the ‘what ifs’ and it snowballs into severe panic.
F.I.E.R.C.E. tackles life’s hardships five minutes at a time, since most other approaches can seem overwhelming to the victim of social anxiety. This five-minute approach is already helping many people, judging by the feedback I have received. I have received messages from counselors who have started using the approach to help patients transition out of self-destructive behaviors.
When you’re about to meet new people and you want to make a good first impression, use this tool to create the best version of yourself in just 5 minutes. One of my readers used it, starting with just 5 minutes and then moved to another 5 minutes and time melted away. He shared this message, “It may sound silly or obvious, but for me, breaking it down to just being my best for 5 minutes in important situations like this makes tackling challenging social situations seem so much easier.”
These are just one example of how people are using the FIERCE methodology, and if you would like a deeper dive into the method, you can check out my book.