Whenever we are subjected to a new environment, so many emotions run through our mind, all related to fear and anticipation. We keep muttering to ourselves, how are we going to adapt, how long will it take for us to fit into the crowd. The new environment can be a new office atmosphere, a new city, a new country, university and so on.
Although we are accustomed to human interaction since a very young age, we are still fearful of it amidst new circumstances. Human characteristics vary, there are some people who look forward to constantly making new friends and thrive in a large crowd, and there are some who prefer to remain introverted most of the time. These group of people are comfortable hanging with few friends they have and don’t feel too comfortable among a large circle of people. They prefer their own introvert activities like reading, sketching, painting, listening to music and so on and majority of these people suffer from social anxiety.
A person with social anxiety is scared of being surrounded by a mass of people, and they are extremely self-conscious with the fear of the crowd judging their poise, gait and mannerisms. They are normally shy and reserved and there are some who would view their personality to be more of a stuck-up than friendly nature, and only the people with social anxiety or social phobia will really know how it feels to have such a personality.
Types of Social Phobia
Social Phobia is the third largest mental health care problem around the globe, the condition has affected millions of people all over the world. In United States, Social Phobia is the third most common psychological problem after alcoholism and depression and 7% of the population suffers from some form of social anxiety. In order to get a better understanding of social anxiety, there are two kinds of Social Phobia, Specific Social Phobia which is the fear of speaking in front of a large crowd and Generalized type of Social Phobia where the affected person feels ill-fitting, self-conscious and anxious in a social situation packed with many people, they feel unwanted and wonder if people are judging them, like their company, or find their poise and mannerisms awkward.
How does it feel to have Social Phobia?
The common perception of society is to judge people on their extent of friendliness, an outgoing bubbly person is viewed to be friendly and appealing. The reserved shy ones on the other hand are labelled to be egotistic. From a practical viewpoint, a person who isn’t very talkative might not necessarily be unfriendly, unhelpful or less amiable, and such traits are engraved on people with Social Phobia, and only a person affected with this condition knows how it feels to be constantly labelled with unfriendly characteristics.
Let us now analyze the emotional distress experienced by a person with Social Phobia, they are conscious of
- Being introduced to a new person
- Being watched closely and judged by other people
- Being the focal point in a crowd
- People observing their gait and poise
- Developing relationships with friends and also romantic relationships.
A person with Social Phobia is different and lots of fun to be with:
People with Social Phobia are differently made, they are more of reserved kind of people and prefer to speak less, different from an extroverted person who is vivacious among a crowd. A person with Social Anxiety can be just as cheerful and fun as other people, they just prefer to be less talkative, and will join in laughter and celebrations as any one else. In a party surrounding, they will help the host with food and drinks, and they will be your photographers, they will click as many pictures of you as you wish. Although they might not be too active in a conversation, they are fantastic listeners, and will keenly listen to your stresses and worries and actively find ways to help you out and make you feel comfortable.
We are all thrown into a social atmosphere since very young age from preschool stage, but as we get older we collect only a handful of friends. The reason for this is variable characteristics of human beings, we gel with people who are like-minded. The same phenomena can be applied to people with Social Phobia, they favor to form a tight bond with few friends they have and will go out of their way to help them.
A Socially Anxious person is a contributing member of the society:
People with Social Anxiety can be just as productive as any one else, and there are ways in which a socially anxious person can be an effective member of society. For those who are passionate about writing there are many work from home careers available, you can have your own website as well and enjoy your passion to the core. Photography is also a fun, creative and enjoyable career option and the other choices are painting, sketching, poetry, cartooning, graphic designing, website creation, creative crafts to name a few.
For people who are really cozy in their own personal space with minimal public interaction, continue to do what you are doing and enjoy it to the fullest.