Something that people don’t really talk about is the issue of social anxiety, how it differs from other terms it gets confused with, and how much it can get in the way.
What is social anxiety?
The ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America) defines social anxiety as “intense anxiety or fear of being judged, negatively evaluated, or rejected in a social or performance situation.” It affects over 15 million American adults and is the second most common diagnosed anxiety disorder.
Like all diseases and disorders, it affects each person in a different way. Some people struggle with it in every single social situation, with every single person they deal with. But more commonly, it is more debilitating in specific scenarios while dealing with certain type of people.
Examples of possibly triggering scenarios:
- Speaking or performing in front of a large audience
- Performing a test or interview
- Meeting someone new
- Having an important or serious discussion
- Romantic situation
Examples of possibly triggering people:
- A total stranger
- Someone you know very well and care deeply for
- Someone in position of authority
- Someone you feel is “higher” than you, or holds power over you.