An interesting research carried out by Edna Foa aimed to ask people who suffered from social anxiety what their expectations were regarding different events. In practice, we tried to establish through answers to questions, what were the consequences of a negative event and what probability there were that this would happen.
The results indicated that people suffering from social anxiety overestimated the likelihood that a negative event could occur. Basically, they thought that this type of events and their consequences were more probable, so that they realized what in Psychology are known as "negative predictions". The curious fact was that these people showed themselves to be catastrophic only with regard to social events.
One of the reasons why people with social anxiety exaggerate the odds that these negative events will occur is that they ignore real information that contradicts their expectations and calculations. For this reason, overcoming social anxiety is easier than dealing with generalized anxiety.
Three tips for overcoming social anxiety
Below I leave you some tips that will help you to overcome social anxiety by working on cognitive distortions, that is, on what you believe is real but which is not:
- Ask others
One of the main problems of people who have catastrophic thoughts is that they do not compare their ideas with the opinions of others, so they cannot have an objective perspective on things. When in doubt, ask for the opinion of family, friends and acquaintances, share your concerns and ask others what possible consequences they envision in relation to a specific situation.
- Examine your experiences
Often, driven by the emotionality of the moment, we are not able to objectively evaluate a situation. However, if you take the time to reflect on the past, you will realize that most of your fears are unfounded and that the consequences of a problem are less than you might think.
- Reconsider the validity of your beliefs
Instead of thinking that the world (yours) will end if this or that happens to you, think if by chance someone has died on some occasion as a result of the consequences of what you consider a tragedy.
You will realize that, apart from a few negative moments, the consequences are not that serious, it is you who magnify them in your mind.