Since our childhood, our parents have been forcing us to “dance” or “sing” or “recite a poem” in front of some random uncle. Some of us did and some of us couldn’t. We, including me, felt extreme trouble and the weird sensation in the body whenever they asked us to do this. The feeling was exactly similar to ‘stage fear’ like jammed limbs or difficulty in breathing or the sudden urge to run away.
As a result, we stopped coming out of our room whenever ‘guests’ came to our house. We used to act sleep or locked ourselves in the room. And this happened only when some unknown people used to come over, not when our close uncle or cousins or relatives were at home. Can you relate?
This past was exactly what we say social anxiety is.
The major symptoms of Social Anxiety are:
– You avoid crowd (here crowd means more than six people)
– you get chest pain or numbness in limbs in a crowded area
– you hate dimly lit nightclubs (also they sell alcohol at a high price because alcohol eases anxiety. Their entire business is based on your levels of anxiety)
– you cancel meetings with friends and family to avoid facing a new set of questions
– your stutter while speaking
– you fidget (with a phone or other objects in your range)
– you avoid eye contact
– Approaching some new person feels like the most difficult task
– you get the urge to pee
– you just want to leave the place to run back to your house or room.
Now understand this – A random SJW guy or girl will tell you to accept yourself, or there is no harm in having such social anxiety issues. Live the way you want and blah blah blah. But ask yourself, in whatever business or job you are today, aren’t such issues a barrier in your growth?
Life is all about struggle and fight. Some people fight with others and some fight with themselves. Life is a war in which you aren’t allowed to back down or rest.
To fight social anxiety, I will tell you some very effective steps. I am not promising that these steps will fix your issues completely but they will make you more confident in public. Strengthening yourself by these steps will overshadow your social anxiety issues.
1. Quit gaming, Sugar and porn completely for 60 days: Gaming and porn both harm your natural dopamine release function of the body. It is like if you are eating fruit custard every day, you won’t feel good upon eating a piece of cucumber but if you abstain custard for 60 days, even a piece of salad will taste good. Same goes with gaming and porn. The constant virtual accomplishment in gaming makes you feel ‘excited’ from inside because it is releasing your dopamine on a high level. Constant porn consumption makes you ‘satisfied’ from inside and indirectly you ‘kill’ your approach and hunt skills which are very necessary when you are in a crowd. My advice is to abstain from porn gaming and sugar as long as you can.
2. Start talking to people who are easier to approach: Ask your security guard how is he, ask your uber driver hows everything at home. Ask your auto wala about the present political scenario. These people are always up for a quick chat and more welcoming. It is a good practice to break the barrier of approach and talk. After practising on them, raise the level and start approaching people like the front desk or ground staff of airline or shop owners and so on. Slowly you will get into the habit of talking to people easily.
3. Read more and more: In the previous point I talked about talking to people, but what will you talk about if you want to hold the conversation for 15 minutes? Politics, Things happening in your city and some interesting stuff about science, space, etc. For that, you will have to read the news daily to understand politics and city, for other things read Reddit’s front page. By gaining consistent knowledge about things, you will be more confident in the crowd.
4. Fix things which are fixable: The main cause of less confidence (which results in social anxiety) in us is self-image issues. People may ask you to accept yourself and similar bullshit but my advice is to fix what is fixable to gain the confidence. Got crooked teeth? get braces. Fat? Go on a diet. Skin breaking out? consult a dermatologist. But do not waste time on things which are not fixable like your height or skin colour.
5. Dress well: Always dress well when you step out in public. A good fashion sense will hide your weaknesses like short height. Never compromise on your attire. Also, to look good in clothes, focus on your physical fitness.
5. Acknowledge your anxiety issues and tell close friends about it: Do inform people around you about your anxiety thing so that they can avoid planning things in advance which may cause trouble for you.
6. Meditate and learn to control your breathing: Breath control is the only way to achieve things which seems difficult in regular day to day life. Like taking bath in cold water or bungee jumping or controlling your urges or anger, all can be controlled through how you breathe.
7. Read my another article about anxiety here: https://chiragbarjatya.com/2018/12/16/how-to-fix-your-anxiety-issues/
That is it. follow these steps and if you still face difficulty, send me an email or DM me on my social profiles.