“What, another term ?!” Some will exclaim in horror. Alas, yes, but you need to master it, because introversion and social anxiety are two different concepts, and in practice one is often substituted for the other. While socially anxious introverts do occur, you may well end up being an anxious extrovert. For example, you want to go to a bar with your colleagues, but you are worried: what if they will not be very happy with your company. Or you want to chat, but you are afraid to freeze nonsense. Let’s take a look at what separates a socially anxious person from an introvert.
1. Introverts are born, they become socially anxious
Introversion is an innate trait, an integral part of the personality. A child is not born socially anxious, although there may be a predisposition to this. Various factors influence the development of anxiety: early social rejection, which teaches the child that peers are angry and critical; parent-instilled attitudes (never ask for help, because others will judge for it). Perhaps, being in the spotlight, the child felt so uncomfortable that he began to avoid publicity.
The good news is that you can revisit the early lessons about people who must be judged and criticized, and learn new, more life-affirming “material.”
2. Introverts enjoy being alone
They are really good at being alone with themselves. Only alone, alone with a loved one or in a very small company of people whom he trusts, such a person gets the opportunity to “recharge the batteries”, relax, and fill the energy deficit.
Anxiety is due to fear, which means that loneliness makes the person prone to it less anxious. Does it bring happiness? No – rather, a feeling of relief. Which, of course, is also not bad, but by avoiding people, a person continues to be lonely or insecure. He is forced to refuse to participate in events that are interesting to him, because he is afraid that he will feel awkward there, that he will fall into a mess.
3. Introverts are confident in their abilities, anxious are not.
An anxious person believes that he is not capable of anything and has nothing to say. He is convinced that even if he opens his mouth, it will not end well: he will either not be understood or will not be supported. Introverts are quite confident in their social skills and can turn them on when needed. It takes effort, but they can easily gain strength the next day after reading a book on the couch or having lunch with a close friend.
4. Anxious people are fixated on the opinions of others.
We are social creatures, and it is important for us what others think of us, at least those whom we love and respect. Often we try to convince ourselves that we need to be ourselves, we must not allow other people’s opinions to restrain us, but it is hardly possible to get rid of it one hundred percent. Socially anxious people worry too much about the opinions of others. They are sure that they do not meet any generally accepted standards, others think of them in a negative way, condemn, disapprove.
5. The root of social anxiety is perfectionism
Such people are sure: only if they become “ideal”, those around them will stop judging and criticizing them. They rehearse what they will tell the waiter when it’s their turn to place an order, or contemplate an upcoming conversation with customer support. But waiters and dispatchers in life seem to have heard everything, and the fact that the client was confused and stammering will be forgotten in a minute.