Social Phobia – Fear of Being Judged
Social Phobia is the fear associated with the social judgment of a person’s peer group or social context.
Social Phobia is the Fear (or worry) of being judged by other people (this is where the “Social” component comes from) and for many people it can have a very debilitating effect on their lives.
People suffering from social phobia will be very familiar with the phrase “you worry too much about what people think” and in essence, this is true.
Symptoms of Social Phobia
Social Phobia may be experienced in many different ways, and to help you identify if this IS your problem, I have listed below some typical symptoms associated with this anxiety:-
- Often feeling like your being “put on the spot”
- Get anxious at the thought of standing up and talking to a large group of people
- Have a very limited social life with very few friends
- Being “shy” around large groups of people
- Dislike being at parties
- Always sticking to the rules
- Difficulty talking on the telephone
- Stuttering and Stammering
- Find it difficult to look people in the eye
- Unable to use public toilets (Known as “shy bladder”)
- Feeling like a “fraud” and that people may be able to “see through you”
- Always asking for feedback about “how well you are doing”
Social Phobia should not be underestimated as it can cause people to withdraw from life and, if not addressed, “migrate” into a Depression.
Social Phobia can influence almost every aspect of your life and is almost certainly the most common form of anxiety experienced by people.
One recent revelation about this problem is that most of the people who “feel judged” almost invariably ARE judgemental themselves.
In other words, one of the reasons that social phobia sufferers believe that everybody is essentially “coming to some negative conclusion” about them as a person, is because this is exactly what they are doing to other people!
If you find yourself judging other people (even if you keep it to yourself) is it any wonder that you might believe this is a trait shared by everybody else too?
What causes Social Phobia?
Most people who suffer from social phobia are likely to have had the problem from an early age. It is unusual to develop this type of problem later in life, although it may not become “expressed” as a problem until after some significant event triggers these buried feelings.
Social Phobia is almost always “created” when some experience in our developmental years leaves us feeling emotionally overwhelmed and unable to deal with the feelings we felt at the time of the incident.
We might, perhaps, have had an experience where we felt like we “made a fool of ourselves” and have perceived that all the people who witnessed this incident were somehow “laughing at us”.
Something may have happened that made us feel terribly embarrassed causing us to “blush”, only then to find that any situation that in some way reminds us of this experience, causes this “blush response” to occur again.
Perhaps there were very high expectations to succeed in your family environment, in which case you may have felt that “failing” in some way would lead to “ridicule” or perhaps even some form of punishment, in which case you would learn to “dread” failure and constantly worry about it.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Social Phobia
If you’re determined to overcome your Social Phobia then we highly recommend following our Tranceformental CBT programme with Paul which is available as an Online Therapy as well as a self-help course.
The Tranceformental programme is a highly successful & pragmatic psychotherapy course, run over 10 sessions, that will teach you everything you need to know to understand your problem, identify any unhelpful thinking styles or limiting beliefs and then show you how to make changes using methods derived from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
Alternative Psychological Approaches for Social Phobia
Although our preferred form of psychological therapy for Social Phobia is Tranceformental CBT, we also offer alternative psychotherapies for those who might prefer a different approach.
Counselling which is less formally structured than CBT but still provides a safe and non-judgmental environment in which to discuss issues. Talking problems through with a skilled counsellor is often therapeutic in its own right.
Hypnotherapy is an alternative form of psychotherapy that can be applied to a very wide range of problems and is available with Joan.
Free Initial Consultations for Social Phobia
We offer all prospective clients FREE initial consultations to discuss your Social Phobia problems prior to commencing any therapy programmes.
The consultation and lasts around 50 minutes.
During this consultation we will discuss the various psychological therapy options that are available to you and make a considered recommendation based on your individual personal circumstances.
Initial consultations are also available online.
At Tranceform Psychology we recognise the importance of the therapy relationship in helping people to bring about effective change, so it is important to meet (either face-to-face or online) before deciding to follow a course of psychotherapy.
Our policy is to help people make a fully balanced & considered decision about undertaking work with us, including both the financial and personal implications.
Overcome Your Problems with our CBT Course
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is clinically proven to be effective across a range of different mental health problems.
Using our online learning platform, it is available with 2, 5 or 10 sessions of clinical support either face-to-face in the Wombourne offices, or using Zoom video facilities.
It can also be taken as a self help CBT course that will teach you the fundamental tools and techniques used throughout the mental health profession.