1. Feeling like we can’t do things
The anxiety we feel makes us feel restricted from participating in everyday activities. “I can’t go to the party because I’ll feel too out of place and uncomfortable.”
2. Comparing ourselves to others
We feel other people are farther along in life than we are. “Everyone has fun and interesting friends they can hang out with – except me.”
3. Beating ourselves up
We get down on ourselves and focus on our perceived shortcomings. We often feel as if we’re not as good or capable as other people. “Everyone else is enjoying life and having a good time. Why can’t I?
4. Not seeing light at the end of the tunnel
“I’ll never get any better – I’ll be stuck with anxiety forever.”
5. Inability to participate in professional or informal activities
Those of us with social anxiety feel a great deal of fear when we must attend informal or professional events with other people. We feel as if we will do something wrong and make a fool of ourselves.
6. Not being able to pursue our desired career
“I’d like to take that promotion, but then I’d have to manage people and tell them what to do. I can’t do that!”
7. Lack of meaningful friendships
People with social anxiety want to have many friends and acquaintances they can spend time with and relax around, but the anxiety prevents this from happening.
8. Not feeling like we are part of a group or family
We all want to feel like we belong, especially with other people who share the same interests in life, but anxious feelings block this from happening.
9. Avoiding situations even when we want to hang out and be friendly
“I can’t go because I’ll be too uncomfortable and I’ll feel inhibited and self-conscious. It’s easier for me to just stay at home.”
10. Wanting to find a significant other, and never finding him/her
Anxiety undermines our human relationships, and prevents them from being as successful as they could be.