Social Anxiety: Entering Society as the World Reopens
Are you afraid of receiving judgment from the people around you?
Do you feel like crawling under a rock whenever the opportunity comes to socialize with people?
This is no cause for alarm, as 15 million Americans this past year have experienced some type of a social anxiety disorder.
Social anxiety can take many forms, but basically, someone suffering from social anxiety experiences fear, self-consciousness and embarrassment at the thought of having to interact with others. To varying degrees, they may be afraid of being judged, or feeling humiliated or embarrassed in public, or even fear of saying the wrong thing and possibly offending someone, in a social setting.
A disorder like this can be challenging if you think your co-workers, classmates, or relatives are talking badly about you. This can even lead to friendship troubles if you assume the worst in your friends. People with social anxiety disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic may have felt short-term relief having been forced to social distance and isolate. However, as the world reopens, those with social anxiety disorder may find themselves in worse shape because hibernating can actually make social anxiety worse. The longer the person stays isolated, the harder it may be to re-enter society.