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Difference between shyness and social anxiety

Updated on June 21, 2019

Social Anxiety

If you suffer from social anxiety like myself, then you too will also know how hard it can be to deal with. Avoiding, overthinking, feeling awkward is just a few of the things we deal with. It can be hard to leave the house or to find work or go to school. There's also the physical symptoms of anxiety. Blushing, shaking, sweating, nausea, a lump in the throat are just a few of the things we deal with.

This should also be educational for people who know someone that suffers from social anxiety. Understanding your friend or family member and why they act a certain way can be helpful in progressing towards a better life. And I know that a lot of people don't like to open up about their mental health as they feel embarrassed about it.

Sometimes just being there as support is a good step in the right direction. Try not to be judgmental or harsh, as it requires patience and understanding when it comes to dealing with mental health issues. Years ago social anxiety wasn’t really talked about. Mental illness, in general, wasn’t widely acknowledged, so I’m glad to see these things are coming out and being spoken about. Talking about these sorts of things no matter how uncomfortable it can make us is necessary.

Shy, anxious or both?

Social anxiety restricts and holds people back from living their lives to the fullest no matter how much they try to hide it. People tend to get it confused with being shy. There is a major difference between the two though. You can be shy and have social anxiety but remember they're different.

Most people can feel shy in new situations but it doesn’t stop them from doing daily activities and living their lives how they want. Shyness can also be seen as a characteristic and because it doesn't impact the decisions they make in their lives it is considered normal to be shy. For most of my life I was told that I was shy, turns out I was just anxious, maybe a little shy but mostly anxious and no one picked up on it.

Now social anxiety so different from shyness because it’s not normal, and I hate using the word normal because it separates people from each other. However, when it affects being able to do something as simple as going to the bank or supermarket or making a simple phone call then I would say that is not normal. It causes distress in the individual's life and it does impact how they live. So if you have a read through the list you might get a better understanding of what people with social anxiety deal with in their day to day lives.

Life is too short for this crap

If you suffer from anxiety join a support group, seek help or find ways to better your life and overcome it. Life is short, it is meant to be fun and I hate having to take it so seriously all the time.

In the words of Drake: I'm here for a good time not a long time.

That made me laugh, what a typical young person response. Anyway, that is all for today. I'm sure I will write another post going deeper into this topic but for now, that's a wrap. Goodbye.


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