If you struggle with these 7 things, you might have social anxiety

Ever felt your heart do the cha-cha before walking into a room full of people? Yeah, you’re not alone. We’ve all had those moments of social jitters. 

But what if I told you there’s more to it than just nerves? That social anxiety really messes with a lot of people’s lives?

If the following experiences pop up in your life, you may well have social anxiety. 

1) The dreaded spotlight

You know that feeling when all eyes are suddenly on you? 

Yeah, that’s the dreaded spotlight of social anxiety. 

You’re at a friend’s birthday bash, having a blast until someone announces, “Let’s hear from our shy friend over there!” Instantly, your heart races and your palms start their own sweat party.

It’s like being a deer caught in headlights, right? Your mind goes blank, and you forget your own name, let alone anything interesting to say. 

And don’t even get me started on public speaking…

The spotlight might as well be a giant magnifying glass, zooming in on every little flaw you think you have. That’s what it feels like.

That pimple on your chin? Suddenly the size of a mountain. 

That time you stumbled on the sidewalk? Now an epic fail replaying in everyone’s minds.

But here’s the kicker: it’s not just about feeling embarrassed. It’s a legit fear – the fear of being judged, of saying the wrong thing, of stumbling over your words, and having the whole room erupt in laughter. 

Your inner critic turns into a stand-up comedian with a knack for self-deprecating jokes.

We’ve all been there, and it’s okay to take a deep breath and remind yourself that you’re pretty awesome, flaws and all.

2) Small talk troubles

You’re at a cozy get-together, surrounded by people chit-chatting away, and suddenly, your brain turns into a spinning hamster wheel.

Ever noticed how your vocabulary goes on vacation during these moments? You’re standing there, nodding and smiling like a pro, but inside, it’s like a tumbleweed rolling through a deserted town. 

And oh, the awkward silences! They’re like the monsters under your bed from childhood, just waiting to pounce. 

It’s not that you don’t want to chat. Oh no, you’d love to dive into deep conversations about quantum physics or the latest conspiracy theories. 

It’s just that the words decide to play hide-and-seek when you need them most.

And, to top it all, your brain loves to remind you of these moments at 2 AM, just for fun.

So, small talk troubles? We’ve all been there. Remember, it’s okay if you’re not the small talk champion. 

You bring your own unique awesomeness to the table, even if that table happens to be surrounded by slightly awkward small talk.

3) The great escape artist

You’re at a bustling social event, and suddenly your inner Houdini kicks in. You spot the nearest exit like a homing missile and start planning your getaway.

It’s like a covert mission – sidestepping groups of people, pretending to check your phone, all while plotting your route to freedom. And once you’re out there, you breathe a sigh of relief, like a character escaping a villain’s lair in an action movie.

But here’s the twist: sometimes, the escape isn’t even about leaving the place. 

It’s about escaping the intense feeling bubbling up inside you. The tight chest, the racing heart – it’s like you’ve got a fire-breathing dragon in your stomach, and the exit sign is your knight in shining armor.

Sure, it might seem a tad dramatic, but when social anxiety is in the spotlight, anything goes. 

Just remember, you’re not alone in being an escape artist. Your exit strategy might be your way of taking care of yourself, and that’s pretty darn cool. 

4) Sweatin’ the sweating

anticipatory anxiety

When social anxiety drops by, it often brings along its buddy – the sweat brigade. You know what I’m talking about – that moment when your body decides it’s time for a surprise hydration session.

Your palms become like mini slip ‘n slides, and your forehead could rival Niagara Falls. It’s like your body’s version of a smoke signal, broadcasting to the world that you’re in the middle of a “please don’t notice me” moment.

But here’s the catch: the more you try not to sweat, the more it feels like you’ve stepped into a sauna. It’s like your body’s playing a not-so-funny prank on you, and your anxiety’s just sitting there, having a good laugh.

And let’s not forget the blushing – oh boy, the blushing. Your cheeks turn into the hottest shade of red, making you feel like a human thermometer. You’re practically a walking mood ring, revealing your emotional state to everyone around you.

But guess what? It’s okay. Sweating and blushing are like the secret handshake of social anxiety. They’re signs that you care, that you’re in the moment, and that you’re navigating through something challenging.

5) Overthinking overdrive

“Overthinking Overdrive” is that magical place where social anxiety turns your brain into a non-stop thought factory. 

You know how it goes: you have a simple conversation, and suddenly, your mind hits the turbo button and starts dissecting every word, every pause, every raised eyebrow.

It’s like your brain’s on a loop, replaying moments on a constant rewind. And the questions – oh, the questions! “Did they like what I said?” “Did I sound weird?” “Why did I use that word instead of another?”

Your brain’s like a courtroom, with you as the judge, jury, and the person being grilled. It’s exhausting, isn’t it? 

Social anxiety cranks up your inner critic to max volume, analyzing every single detail like it’s the plot of a mystery novel.

But here’s the kicker: not every conversation needs a Sherlock Holmes treatment. Try giving your brain a gentle reminder that it’s okay to hit pause and let things flow. You’ve got this!

6) Party pooper syndrome

“Party Pooper Syndrome” is an extra-special talent social anxiety likes to gift us with. 

You’re at a lively gathering, surrounded by laughter and good vibes, and suddenly, social anxiety taps you on the shoulder and whispers, “Hey, wanna sit this one out?”

You see everyone else having a blast, and you wonder if you missed the memo on how to party. Your inner voice turns into a party critic, pointing out all the ways you’re not fitting in or having fun.

And don’t even get started on mingling – that’s like venturing into a social jungle armed with nothing but a Nerf gun. 

Your mind becomes a chaotic mix of “What should I say?” and “Do I look awkward?” It’s like trying to decode a secret language that everyone else seems to know fluently.

Social anxiety might be the director of this scene, but you can totally rewrite the script. Embrace the awkward, dance to your own rhythm, and who knows, you might just end up being the party’s unexpected star!

7) Inner critic unleashed

That voice inside your head is suddenly armed with a magnifying glass, ready to scrutinize your every move. 

You know the one – it’s like having your own personal commentator narrating your life, and they’re not exactly cheering you on.

You’re in a social setting, having a conversation, and suddenly, your inner critic clears its throat and starts dissecting your words like a linguistics professor. “Why did you say that? You sound so awkward!” it exclaims, as if it’s holding a Ph.D. in social interactions.

And let’s not forget the comparison game – your inner critic loves to scroll through your mental Rolodex of friends, family, and acquaintances, highlighting how much better they are at this social stuff. 

It’s like being trapped in a never-ending competition you didn’t even sign up for.

Remember, your inner critic might be loud, but it’s not necessarily right. 

It’s like that one friend who always has a negative comment, even when you’re doing great. 

So, the next time your inner critic starts its commentary, imagine hitting the mute button and reminding yourself that you’re doing the best you can. 

8) Digital dilemmas

woman using mobile phone 3727472 1 If you struggle with these 7 things, you might have social anxiety

So, let’s chat about “Digital Dilemmas” – because guess what? Social anxiety doesn’t just hang out in the real world; it loves to make cameos in the virtual one too. 

Those little message notification dings? They can trigger a mini heart race. 

Crafting the perfect response? It’s like writing an Oscar-worthy script. 

Online interactions might have a different stage, but social anxiety can still be the director behind the scenes. 

So next time you’re navigating digital conversations, remember, you’re not alone in feeling the virtual jitters. 


That was a whirlwind tour of the signs of social anxiety. 

But hey, it’s not all doom and gloom. If any of these situations hit close to home, you’re not alone. Practice self-compassion, challenge those negative thoughts, and take baby steps out of your comfort zone. 

Seek support from friends, family, or a professional if needed. Social anxiety might be a tough opponent, but you’ve got a whole toolbox of strategies to take it on. 

You’ve got this!

Picture of Rick Brune

Rick Brune

After making adventure documentary films in Africa, a stint as a radio talk show host, and a foray into the advertising industry, Rick has settled down to write full-time. His African exploits have been covered by international travel magazines, and as a life coach, he has been widely published on the Web.

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