The 9 Best Books to Help With Social Anxiety Disorder

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Self-help books about social anxiety disorder (SAD) are an excellent companion to traditional treatment. They're also a good alternative for those who don't have access to a therapist or medication.

Here are some popular SAD self-help books.

Our Top Picks


Living Fully With Shyness and Social Anxiety

Living Fully with Shyness and Social Anxiety.
Photo courtesy of Amazon. Photo courtesy of Amazon.

As the title suggests, "Living Fully With Shyness and Social Anxiety" is a guide to living the life that you want despite having social anxiety.

Author Erika Hilliard has experience leading social anxiety groups and is a shy person herself, and this sets the tone for a readable and friendly book that combines facts with practical advice.


Dying of Embarrassment: Help for Social Anxiety & Phobia

Dying of Embarrassment: Help for Social Anxiety and Phobia
Courtesy of Amazon

"Dying of Embarrassment" is a guidebook to overcoming social anxiety disorder. Although there is no replacement for structured cognitive-behavioral therapy with a real person, if a book is your only option, this one might be a good choice.

The guide includes practical examples and workbook-style exercises to help motivate you to actually put the principles into practice.


The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook

Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook: Proven, Step-by-Step Techniques for Overcoming your Fear
Courtesy of Amazon

"The ​Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook" is a comprehensive program for overcoming social anxiety disorder that includes a self-evaluation and the tools to put together a customized plan for making changes in your life.

In addition, general information about treatment and resources for social anxiety is provided.


Painfully Shy: How to Overcome Social Anxiety and Reclaim Your Life

Painfully Shy: How to Overcome Social Anxiety and Reclaim Your Life
Courtesy of Amazon

"Painfully Shy" by Barbara Markway, also the author of "Dying of Embarrassment," is a thorough presentation of the research and knowledge pertaining to social anxiety disorder.

Although this book lacks examples of how to deal with practical everyday social activities, it does offer general solutions for dealing with painful shyness and insights about the cause of SAD.


Diagonally-Parked in a Parallel Universe: Working Through Social Anxiety

Diagonally-Parked in a Parallel Universe : Working Through Social Anxiety
Courtesy of Amazon

"Diagonally-Parked" is unique in that it's a guide to overcoming social anxiety disorder written by both an expert in the field and a person who has personally battled social anxiety disorder.

Dr. Signe Dayhoff presents an overview of research about social anxiety as well as practical exercises for managing anxiety in a wide range of social activities, from dating to networking. This book is touted by many as an essential self-help manual for SAD.


Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness

Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness
Courtesy of Amazon

"Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness" by Gillian Butler provides a step-by-step program for overcoming social anxiety disorder through the use of cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques.

The book is one in a series of self-help titles about overcoming disorders; each volume in the series presents history and background as well as practical advice for improvement.


Overcoming Shyness and Social Phobia: A Step-by-Step Guide

Overcoming Shyness and Social Phobia: A Step-by-Step Guide (Clinical Application of Evidence-Based Psychotherapy)
Courtesy of Amazon

"Overcoming Shyness and Social Phobia" by Ronald Rapee is a concise, direct, and straightforward treatment of the problem of social anxiety disorder.

If you're looking for a quick read on a complicated issue, this book may be for you. The guide may be used either with or without the assistance of a therapist to work through social anxiety.


Beyond Shyness: How to Conquer Social Anxieties

Courtesy of Amazon

In "Beyond Shyness," Jonathan Berent shows you how to overcome frustration and low self-esteem on the path to becoming more socially confident.

The book includes information about treatment options, goal-setting exercises, and practical strategies for working through social anxiety.


The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Social Anxiety

Use this self-help book for SAD
A self-help book for social anxiety disorder. Photo courtesy of Amazon

"The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Social Anxiety and Shyness" provides directions on how to implement acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) as a self-help program that you can use for your own shyness or social anxiety.

The program outlined in this book has been shown to be effective for shyness and social anxiety in research studies. ACT teaches you how to be more flexible in accepting your feelings and thoughts so that you no longer struggle against your anxiety.

Whether you are looking for social anxiety books for yourself or someone you know living with social anxiety, it's important to not only read for education but also to implement the strategies that you learn. It's only through practice and repetition that you'll be able to manage your symptoms and improve your circumstances.

Was this page helpful?