5 misunderstood signs of social anxiety disorder explained
Millions of people out there suffer from social anxiety.
However, there are still a lot of overlooked signs about this disorder.
When doctors diagnose someone with this condition, they are evaluating whether this person is struggling with making small talk, networking with colleagues, or socializing in general.
Yet, some people still can’t tell if a person is having social anxiety disorder or just a bad day.
Here are 5 of the most common misconceptions about social anxiety disorder.
1. Social anxiety doesn’t equal introversion
Perhaps this is the most common misconception about social anxiety disorder. A lot of people can’t really see the difference. While introversion is a feature of one’s personality, it has nothing to do with fear or anxiety. An introvert is someone who doesn’t like to be interacting with a lot of people. They can even get emotionally exhausted at certain overwhelming events.
However, this doesn’t mean they are anxious about these situations. But also, it doesn’t mean they aren’t. Briefly, introversion can be seen as a sign of social anxiety disorder, not the whole thing itself.
2. Fear of public speaking are only a part of social anxiety
Often the first thing that comes to mind when we hear someone has a social anxiety disorder is imagining them stuttering and shaking in front of an audience. While this may apply to many struggling with this condition, it’s not the only characteristic about it. Social anxiety disorder is much more than that.
There are many stressing factors for people living with social anxiety such as looking others in the eyes, making phone calls, eating in front of others, and many many more. On the contrary, other socially anxious people actually love public speaking. It’s as confusing as that.
3. Social anxiety isn’t only about fearing rejection
Fearing rejection and embarrassment is not the only thing describing social anxiety. In many cases, this disorder may be caused by receiving positive feedback or being congratulated for something. That’s because the anxiousness makes people worry that there’s been a mistake, and this good evaluation is not deserved.
This condition is called ‘impostor syndrome‘. It can often harmfully affect people’s performance in many situations. When someone struggles with imposter syndrome, they often feel that they are unworthy of their achievements.
4. You can be socially anxious about the future, and the past
People often worry about things that are about to come. The mystery of the future makes us quite distressed sometimes. Although socially anxious people do worry about the future, they frequently get stuck worrying about the past too.
They constantly replay social situations in their heads, wondering if they could’ve ended better. And the worst thing is this happens while they are also worrying about the future. So, there’s a big confusing chaos in their minds, trapping them in a mental loop of self-doubting.
5. Social anxiety is not easy to detect
There is a common delusion that people with social anxiety avoid engaging in social situations. Well, that’s not true. Not every person struggling with this disorder hates having small talks and staying more than an hour at parties.
What these people avoid is situations that make them highly anxious. This doesn’t mean they stay home all the time and reject every invitation they get. Sometimes they could go to that party, but spend the majority of time on their phones or talking to the one person they actually like there.
Hopefully, after reading this article, you’ll understand this condition better, and if someone close to you suffers from it, you’d be able to help them.