How to Manage Social Anxiety or Social Phobia

How to Manage Social Anxiety or Social Phobia

How to Manage Social Anxiety or Social Phobia 1000 545 Dr. Menon

A party  invitation pops into your mailbox, inbox or phone and in your head you say…”Oh no!”.  Then you look around and wonder  “Did I just groan out loud?” You are definitely not alone. If social gatherings fills you with dread, read on for tips on how to manage Social Anxiety or Social Phobia.

Why is this so hard?

Social situations are full of potential conversations or topics you’d rather avoid (how’s school? How’s work? Are you dating someone? Sometimes invitations lead you to think about past social experiences… you know, the ones you replay and cringe over what you wore, what you said, what you didn’t say…

Social situations can also be a little unpredictable and uncertainty is anxiety’s best friend. We can find  ways to take the unknown and make it more predictable and more comfortable.

There’s a lot of science behind what you think, what you feel and how you act in the present and in the future. The psychologists at Thrive Collective would love to teach you some science-based ways to manage your thoughts, feelings, and actions so that you can have the choices you want in your life.

Here’s a preview of some ways to manage the nerves that kick in at party time.

Pre-party Preparations!

So you get an invite for a get-together, what is your automatic response?

  • Hitting ignore or delete then feel bad about saying no?
  • Say yes, then cancel at the last minute, leaving you feeling like you’re a bad friend? 
  • Saying yes to everything then cancelling everything (all-or-nothing!)

Here are some alternative thinking points to review when you get an invitation. Depending on your responses to these questions, you can decide what to do next. 

  • Would you make plans if you had the free time, but right now, you don’t have the time?
  • How will going to this event affect your mood: will it be good, neutral or bad? This can be influenced by your state as well as who else will be there, how large a group, the activity etc.
  • Are you saying yes because you feel like you SHOULD instead of it being something you really want to do?
  • Are you moving things around too much to say yes? Does that make you feel resentful?
  • Are there any advantages to going to the event?

Party Day!

You’ve committed to the plan and you are on your way. Let’s think about how you’re going to take care of yourself. And yes, that also includes an exit plan.

More planning points…If I was going to  party alone as a guest, how would I take care of myself? 

  • What time would I get there? 
  • When do I want to leave? 
  • Do I have a way of leaving without relying on anyone else?
  • Who will be there? Of those people who am I most comfortable with?
  • What can I offer to help with while I’m there?

Thinking about the structure and other details ahead of time can give you a game plan for the event. 

The after party – just for you

You did the thing! And now it’s time for a treat, a RESET. Watch the video and learn the 7 ways to restore before the next invitation comes your way:

The real reason why we are tired and what to do about it | Saundra Dalton-Smith | TEDxAtlanta

Holiday occasions and social invitations are just one cause of Social Anxiety or Social Phobia – there can be many others. In each of these cases, the psychologists at Thrive Collective are ready to help you. Dr. Terry and Dr. Menon are very experienced with using the science and practices of anxiety management strategies and executive functioning skills. They can help you use them in a variety of everyday situations. We can help you develop a roadmap to reach any type of goal. Book your free consultation now.