It may seem unfair as some people do get rid of their social anxiety without hours of therapy or professional treatment. Yet others went through various alternative self-help methods like meditation, hypnotherapy or CBT hoping to gain the slightest of self-confidence.
While it’s unlikely you’ll wake up the next day feeling like a public speaking champion, there are subtle signs that you’re doing well in your battle against social anxiety. If you’re getting these signs, it shows you’re doing the right thing in building your self-esteem and confidence.
1. You’re Sharing Your Thoughts Openly
5 years ago, I wouldn’t even dare to share my own thoughts on social media to my circle of friends. A blog like this, talking about my personal experience of social anxiety would be unthinkable. That and the fact that I’m not a native English speaker is more than enough to feel unworthy of sharing anything.
If you’re finding yourself actually voicing your thoughts more often in conversation, or starts being more ‘social’ online, this can be a sign of you finding a brand new confidence.
2. You Stop Avoiding Eye Contacts
People with social anxiety usually have a problem sustaining eye contacts in a conversation, particularly with the opposite gender. This often causes them to be labeled rude as they’re constantly staring in any direction except to the person they are talking to.
It’s a clear sign that you’re making a headway in your battle with social anxiety if you’re not the first one who breaks eye contact in a conversation.
3. You Stop Feeling Unworthy
Are you uncomfortable when receiving praises, even when you know that you deserve it? When your self-esteem is at all time low, you’ll feel that you don’t deserve even the slightest praise regardless of how sincere they are.
However, if you start acknowledging your own strength and worth and actually love yourself for who you are, you’re on the right track in overcoming social anxiety.
4. You Stop Fearing Getting Attention
Remember how you practically feel like running away when you stepped into the meeting room with a dozen of eyes staring at you? I’m not saying that you’ll crave attention after beating social anxiety but you wouldn’t mind being at the center of attention anymore.
Personally, it’s a step-by-step process that eventually has me hosting a corporate event for a thousand pax.
5. You Start Initiating Conversations
If you have suffered from social anxiety, you know that the best reply is one that ends the conversation once and for all. You’ll project the cold unfriendly image that others learned to avoid eventually. It’s no secret that social anxiety is a very lonely mental disorder to have.
But if you constantly surprised yourself by greeting people or starting conversations on topics you’re curious on, you may be on the verge of saying goodbye to social anxiety.
6. Your Circle Of Friends Grow
It’s pretty sad how people with social anxiety are torn between the fear of interactions and the needs for companions. Yet companionship is rare and scarce when you are trapped in your personal shell of isolation.
But if you start finding your list of friends grow, regardless of how insignificant as it may seem, it’s a good sign that you’re conquering your social phobia. Check out this article on how to make and keep new friends.
7. You Stopped Avoiding Meetups
“I’m sorry but I think I have to skip tonight’s meetup due to a bad migraine (or other excuses)”. Sounds familiar? Meetups regardless of strangers or close acquaintances are really not the best activity for people with social anxiety.
However, if you are starting to get more invites because you stop being a no-show, then it’s clear that you have mastered your fear of socializing.
Doing The Right Thing…
If you’re thinking that overcoming social anxiety is about the treatment or self-help course then you’re half right. Sure, CBT, mindfulness, and hypnotherapy may help. So does the visits to your therapist.
But what’s more important is the consistency in your effort regardless of the methods that you’re using. Many people suffering from social anxiety gave up too early and move on to the next methods. They eventually gave up as they believe that social anxiety can never be cured.
Your determination and taking consistent action regardless of how you feel is more important than the types of therapies that you’re undergoing. I know I’m going to sound controversial here but facing your fear is a must eventually if you’re serious about defeating social anxiety.
It’s About Consistency In Your Action
Some said that you need gradual exposure while others prefer the massive exposure method. Eventually, it’s up to you to build up the courage and eventually cross the boundary to speak on the stage or deliver your first presentation. Or it could be as simple as complimenting someone you admire.
There is no great secret in beating social anxiety. Nor do I believe that the longer you suffer the harder it is to overcome. I personally struggle with social anxiety for 15 years before I finally found the courage to speak in public.
Are you trying hard enough to overcome social anxiety? Or do you see progress as mentioned in this article? Share your experience in the comment below. And if you find this article helpful, do share it with your friends too.