What is social anxiety?
Social anxiety is an ongoing and intense fear of social interaction. It is normal to feel shy or nervous in certain social settings. However, people who suffer from social anxiety struggle to engage in simple, everyday activities such as shopping or talking on the phone. Over time it can cause a person to avoid things to the point where it begins to impact their routine, work, wellbeing, and relationships. In order to dodge these negative consequences, getting help and support for social anxiety can be extremely beneficial. Continue reading to find out about the common signs of social anxiety and how it can impact your caring role!
Common Signs of Social Anxiety
- Worrying about embarrassing yourself
- Intense fear of interacting with or talking to others
- Fear that others will be able to tell that you’re anxious
- Difficulty establishing close relationships (friendships and romantic)
- Feeling as though everyone is watching you in social situations
- Spending time after a social encounter analysing and obsessing over what was said
- Fear of physical symptoms (blushing, shaky voice, trembling, sweating, etc.)
- Avoiding situations where you might be the centre of attention
- Difficulty making eye contact
- Dreading daily activities (shopping, working, speaking on the phone, etc.)
- Nauseousness in anticipation for social events or encounters
How can social anxiety impact my caring role?
Whether you are caring for someone with social anxiety or if you are juggling it while also caring for a loved one, it is no easy task. If you are caring for someone who has social anxiety, it can understandably be difficult at times to comprehend their feelings. Unless you have experienced anxiety at some point in your life, you may feel like you are unable to relate. This can make you feel useless, but the good news is that there are many things that you can do to work towards relating and ultimately helping them! One of the most impactful things that you can do is to be patient and remain focused on their feelings. Try not to focus on the anxiety or behaviours that go along with it, but instead simply just ask how they are feeling. This will not only help them feel more capable of opening up but will hopefully open a window of communication between the two of you. Once this occurs, you will be able to work towards encouraging them to actually partake in social situations!
Carers who have social anxiety may be faced with many issues, as interacting with others is often necessary in order to properly care for their loved ones. Between appointments, shopping, pharmacy trips, and more, carers often have to do a lot in order to fulfil all of their responsibilities for their loved one. Because the nature of caring can often cause a person to be socially isolated, this can make one’s social anxiety worse if they are exposed to these situations less and less. The good news is that there are many options to help combat your social anxiety! Continue reading to see how Suffolk Carers Matter can support you.
Need more support?
If you think that you or the person that you care for has social anxiety and that you need some more support, Suffolk Carers Matter would be happy to help! We offer free support, advice, and guidance and even have a free counselling service available should you need it!
CALL us on 01284 333035 – open Monday-Friday 8am-8pm and Saturday-Sunday 10am-2pm.
LIVE CHAT by clicking the blue ask button in the bottom corner of your screen.
Click here to REGISTER with Suffolk Carers Matter.
EMAIL us via our contact form here and we will get back to you.