Social anxiety is a way of describing a very high level of shyness. However, unlike shyness, it can lead a person to feel unable to take part in social situations such as eating in public, going out with a large group or public speaking. This is often due to worry that others will judge them negatively. Such fears can really limit someone’s life, making it hard to go to work or college or keep up with friends. Also, when someone with social anxiety does go into a feared situation, they might focus on their anxious feelings and how they are coming across rather than on what’s going on around them, and afterwards they might worry about the parts they fear went badly rather than remember what went well. This can make it feel harder to try out another social situation in the future.
You can find out more about social anxiety by looking at our resources page.
Last updated: 17 May, 2013