Understanding Social Anxiety

Understanding Social Anxiety

Certain social situations are nervewracking for everyone. However, when nervousness becomes social anxiety, it’s time to look at the situation more closely.

It’s completely natural to feel anxious or nervous in certain social situations. For instance, the first days in a new recovery environment are always nervewracking and filled with adjustment. Likewise, you might feel nervous when you’re going on a first date, attending an important dinner, or meeting your significant other’s parents for the first time. But when does normal social nervousness cross over into social anxiety? Here, we’ll unpack some of the signs of social anxiety, what it feels like, and some options for treatment. 

We All Feel Anxious in Social Situations (Sometimes)

Performance anxiety, fear of public speaking, stage fright, and general nervousness in social situations are all forms of social anxiety. Almost all of us feel certain social anxiety symptoms at some point or another. A general shyness is often confused with social anxiety. Shyness is more of a personality trait and doesn’t always negatively impact one’s ability to function in a group. Social anxiety, however, can be paralytic, sometimes crossing over into a social anxiety disorder.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Extreme fear in social settings is the main symptom of social anxiety disorder. For people who suffer from this disorder, there can often be tremendous amounts of fear when it comes to meeting new people, socializing in a group, attending gatherings, or talking to people. The main difference between “typical” levels of social nervousness and social anxiety disorder is the debilitating nature of the latter. It may interfere with the person’s ability to attend school, work, job interviews, or develop close friendships or relationships with people outside of their immediate family and close friends.

Overcoming Social Anxiety

If you find yourself feeling nervous in social situations, understand that you’re not alone and many other people suffer from some form of social anxiety. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be helpful in treating social anxiety, as well as mindfulness practices such as deep breathing and meditation. 


Tree House Recovery of Orange County, California is a premiere men’s addiction treatment facility that uses eight different modalities to help our men become the best versions of themselves they can be. We teach our men that every day of their journey is something to celebrate and that recovery isn’t a sprint– it’s a marathon. To get started with Tree House Recovery, call us today at (855) 202-2138

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