The Difference Between Shyness and Social Anxiety

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Mary Magalotti Life Resolutions 

In psychology, there are often areas where lines are blurred, making it difficult to determine one condition from another or differentiating mental illness from personality traits. The difference between shyness and social anxiety is often an area in which lines are blurred, so here we hope to differentiate these phenomena.

What is Shyness?

Shyness is a personality trait. While people who are shy do not like to be the centre of attention or be in the spotlight, but social situations do not cause them significant and ongoing stress.

It is completely normal to feel nervous or shy when entering a party, a new workplace or even speaking to a stranger, but when the stress becomes almost impossible to overcome, this is known as social anxiety.

What is Social Anxiety?

Social anxiety, also known as social phobia, is characterised by high levels of distress that lead to avoiding social situations altogether.

Symptoms of Social Anxiety:

·        Increased heart rate

·        Hand tremors

·        Blushing

·        Constant fear of other people judging them

·        Excessive perspiration

·        Difficulty speaking (or speaking very softly)

·        Feeling extremely self-consciousness or embarrassed

·        Feeling nauseous or unwell

·        Avoiding social situations altogether

Situations that may cause stress for people with Social Anxiety include: Mary Magalotti

·        Talking in front of others

·        Going to social events

·        Talking to strangers

·        Eating, drinking, writing or using a phone in front of others

·        Using public facilities such as toilets or public transportation

·        Ordering at a café or restaurant

These are just a few examples; social anxiety affects everyone differently. Thus, anxiety-inducing situations differ for every person.

Treatment for Social Anxiety

Social Anxiety is an extremely common mental illness, with Beyond Blue estimating that around 11% of Australians experiencing social anxiety during their life. And there are great treatments available to combat social anxiety; the most common treatments are Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and medication. If you are experiencing social anxiety, we urge you to seek support from our friendly team at Life Resolutions; we can provide you with the treatment required to get back onto the path towards mental wellbeing.

Contact Life Resolutions

Mary Magalotti and Jodie Brenton Today

The Life Resolutions team are dedicated to providing quality support to Australians during this difficult time. Our CEO, Jodie Brenton and principal psychologist, Mary Magalotti, understand that social isolation is contributing to an increase in mental health issues and are committed to providing the services to help anyone in need of support.

If you would like to hear more about the journey of Life Resolutions or speak to Mary Magalotti or Jodie Brenton, feel free to contact us HERE, or head to the Life Resolutions website to discover more about the work of Life Resolutions Jodie Brenton and Mary Magalotti.

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