Social Pressure & Social Anxiety
Social Pressure Concepts & Plasticity
What is Social Pressure?
Social Pressure is the idea that what other people and social groups might think about YOU is ‘incredibly important’ and has a direct impact on the way that you feel. In most people it is what we might refer to as a ‘learned behaviour’ rather than being an inherent part of your personality.
In other words, Social Pressure is a belief system and like all belief systems, can be changed through the use of the right types of tools and techniques.
How do YOU feel about the idea of getting up in front of an audience and making some sort of presentation?
Those thoughts than run through your head such as “I hope I don’t make a fool of myself” or perhaps “I bet they’ll think I’m useless at this” are both classic examples of idaes born out of the notion of ‘social pressure’.
Why Do I Experience Social Pressure?
Interestingly, most people who experience a high degree of social pressure also tend to have a low Self-Esteem and also a more internal Locus of Control. This is no real surprise as the belief system that we call social pressure (or social anxiety) is actually one of the Core Limiting Beliefs that has a very significant impact on the way a person feels.
People who experience a high degree of social pressure tend to imagine that people in their social environment are ‘inevitably’ making negative judgements about them. This is often far from the truth of the matter and research suggest that the main reason socially anxious people feel this way is principally due to how critical they are of themselves.
Think about it for a moment, if you spend many hours a day criticising yourself (perhaps only in your ‘own head’) then it makes perfectly logical senses that other people must be doing the same. If this wasn’t the case, then you would tend to believe that everybody else sees you in a completely different way to what you believe is true about yourself!
We have also found that socially anxious people tend to be quite critical of other people, so if it seems normal to criticise others, it should be no surprise that this might appear to be the ‘default’ position of everybody else too!
Notions of Social Pressure
Here you can see examples of the types of thinking associated with the ‘social pressure’ belief system.
Negative Social Constructs
- I worry what people think of me
- I always try to say the ‘right thing’
- People’s approval is important
- I could never ask somebody out on a date
- Criticism is terrible
Useful Social Constructs
- People are entitled to think anything about me they like
- I believe in what I say, other people may think differently
- People’s approval is nice but not essential
- Not everybody I ask for a date is going to say yes, that’s fine
- Criticism is the route to personal improvement
Transform Your Thinking & Stop Feeling Social Pressure
If you want to be resilient to social pressure then we highly recommend following either our Advanced Cognitive Behavioural Therapy course with Paul, or the Changing Limiting Beliefs (CLB) Programme with Joan.
Both the CBT course and Changing Limiting Beliefs approach are highly successful & pragmatic psychological training programmes, run over 10 sessions, that will teach you everything you need to know to understand your problem, identify how unhelpful thinking and limiting beliefs might be reinforcing the issue, and then show you how to make any changes to your unhelpful thinking styles or maladaptive safety behaviours that you may have developed as part of your coping strategies.
Our CBT programme is an evidence-based, research supported approach used by mental health practitioners around the World.
FREE Initial Consultations to Solve Social Pressure Problems
We offer all prospective clients a FREE initial assessment to chat about problems related to social pressure. During this 50 minute consultation we will discuss the various options that are available to you and make a considered recommendation based on your individual personal circumstances.
At TranceForm we believe that therapy & counselling should be a collaboration between therapist and client so it’s very important to be able to meet PRIOR to agreeing any kind of help. Our policy is to help people make a fully balanced & considered decision about undertaking work with us, including both the financial and personal implications.
For most mental health issues we recommend following our 10 session Tranceformental CBT Programme (an advanced version of empirically established Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) to overcome a wide range of mental health and behavioural problems.
CBT is a proven, evidence-based form of therapy for developing a fundamental level of understanding into the dynamics of your problem, but also for learning new coping skills and strategies for sustainable change over your life.
Tranceformental CBT is available On-line as well as a one-to-one format in the clinic.
Visit Online Counselling for more details.