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Social Phobia for Beginners 

Author: Mark Sykes

information about social phobiaMany people report that they would rather die than give a speech at a wedding or at a business conference.  The idea of standing in front of hundreds or even thousands of people is often too fearful to seriously contemplate.  If being rejected by one person is bad enough imagine forgetting the words to your speech or mixing up the name of the bride and groom.  Imagine the social rejection by hundreds of people simultaneously!  To compound the disaster, your speech maybe recorded on video and so future generations may get to experience your humiliation many times over.

When social interaction is anticipated the perceived fear maybe so great that suffers start to experience physical discomfort such as sweating, increased heart rate and trembling.  The person may conjure up a range of possible embarrassing scenarios and come to the conclusion that it is so much safer just to stay away from the social event.  This is a fantastic strategy as avoidance is almost guaranteed to reduce the risk of social humiliation down to zero.  The resultant feeling of safety and comfort simply reinforces the avoidance behavior and soon the individual start to avoid even small social situations such as shopping and having coffee with friends.


Just as you or I would decide not jump from a plane because it could lead to serious injury, so people with social phobia conclude that staying at home is the emotionally safest thing to do.  Social phobia comes to the attention of psychologists usually when it impacts on the personís everyday work and play activities.  Social phobia impacts on the very core of our existence and that is human relationships.  The effects are felt with the personís career, wealth, social life and family connections.

Ironically people with social phobia find it difficult to seek help for the simple reason that it often involves social contact with doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors.

Article Source: 

About the Author:

Mark Sykes BPsych(Hons), MBus, GradDip(Qual), BSc.


Webpage by Paul Susic MA Licensed Psychologist Ph.D Candidate

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