Here are some recommendations to have more awareness of the anxiety that you may be experiencing and how to separate it from social anxiety disorder that requires treatment and attention in a clinical setting with support like the one at La Jolla Recovery:
Come up with a clear reason for improving yourself. Social anxiety is embarrassing, sometimes paralyzes, makes us blush, and sometimes makes us feel as if the situation was overwhelming. The first strategy to overcome this fear is to be very clear and very present on what your motive is, your compelling reason, for wanting to resolve this.
Do not fool or justify yourself, be honest. People are very skilled at avoiding recognizing the real reasons why they do not want to face a situation. The excuses are varied: “I am actually very lonely and that is how I am, period. People, in general, dislike me, I’m not interested in the nonsense that everyone is interested in. It doesn’t matter to me not meeting people or not having a partner. Why am I going to try it if they will reject me again anyway? In the end, I out in all the effort and it is just not worth it”. The human being is a social being, and if our needs to be with each other come into conflict with our anxious reactions, we have to be clear about who has to win that battle. It is different to choose to be alone than to be afraid.
Progression and duration. We must understand that when we believe that we are facing fear, sometimes, due to ignorance, we are enlarging it, blowing it out of proportion. To really overcome fear, you need to keep two clear guidelines in mind: progression and duration. We must consider that facing social fears is like climbing a ladder (progression). If I want to climb two or three steps at a time, I may fall. If I want to go up cheating and use the elevator (self-medication, alcohol, substances, being in contact with new people only in “comfort or safety zones” …), it will not help me. I have to set progressive goals, from the least anxious to the most. Each objective is a step, and I have to stay at each one, as long (duration) as necessary: until my emotional reaction of anxiety has turned into a reaction of indifference. When we do not follow these two guidelines: progression and duration, it is easy getting used to our reactions by letting them pass, we become sensitive to them making the problem worse.
If we fear the negative evaluation of our work or we fear our anxious reactions when we are going to do it, we should not avoid it, but do it and then express our fears to who should supervise that work (our boss or collaborator): Is it enough? What did you like the most? And the least? How can I improve it? I have felt a little tense. How have you seen me? If we fear that we will not like or seem interesting or funny to the people with whom we come in contact, the solution is not to stop dating. Express yourself and do not run away, tell your friends naturally what you think.
Begin to think that important things do not have to be done alone. If you think it can be beneficial, consider a process of change guided by a professional psychologist or therapist like the ones at La Jolla Recovery in San Diego, California.
The benefits of relating to others in a less anxious way are enormous. Value the right moment for change, and if you find a compelling reason, go for it. Currently, the high efficacy of Clinical Psychology is known to successfully deal with these types of problems. At La Jolla Recovery, we believe in the science of therapy such as CBT, DBT, and ACT among other powerful therapies including medication-assisted treatment when needed for reduced relapses and severe lapses of mental health. If you or your loved one’s mental health is being affected by a dual diagnosis such as alcoholism or addiction to drugs such as heroin or benzodiazepines such as Xanax, we can attend to both in a parallel form.