8 Things People With Social Anxiety Crave

Individuals with social anxiety are much like everyone else, including their goals, dreams, and desires. If you have SAD, you're likely to identify with some of these concepts and benefit from a few words of encouragement and advice.


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Though individuals with social anxiety fear people and social interaction, they do still want to have friends. Often, being alone can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression. Overcoming social anxiety through treatment and building social skills can help with this.

You don't have to feel alone. Everyone feels awkward trying to make new friends. Over time it will become easier. Give yourself the foundation to make it happen.


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More than anything, people with social anxiety disorder want to feel understood by others, both in terms of their symptoms and as a person. Learning about the disorder can help those who are trying to understand a loved one suffering from social anxiety.

If a friend or family member doesn't understand or chalks up your behavior to being "aloof," try printing out an article or loaning that person a book about social anxiety that explains how you feel.


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As much as those with social anxiety have a desire for connection, many also wish for times alone. When social anxiety overlaps with introversion, this can be a time to recharge batteries and gather strength for more interaction with others.

While extroverts gather strength from being around others, introverts need time alone to feel better. If you fall into this latter group, don't feel apologetic if you need a moment to yourself in the midst of a family gathering.


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Emotional stability is a goal of many with social anxiety. You may wish to have better management of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions, understand what triggers your social anxiety, and how you can maintain balance in the face of those situations.

As much as you might want to "control" your anxiety, realize that often it is better to learn to be at peace with your feelings.

Giving yourself a break will allow your feelings the space needed to lessen on their own.


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Peace can be achieved in many ways by those with social anxiety, such as through mindfulness meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and other practices designed to make you aware of the present moment and in tune with your body.

Acceptance and commitment therapy is one method that takes advantage of some of these "peaceful" exercises while working to reduce social anxiety. Those seeking peace may be well-suited to this type of therapy.


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Confidence grows as you gradually learn to face your fears and overcome them. Those with social anxiety often seek to appear more confident in social and performance situations.

Build your confidence gradually by facing the situations that you fear. Over time, you will become less sensitive to triggers and better able to feel confident and ​outgoing in these types of situations.


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People with social anxiety are sometimes blocked from achieving their goals, which can interfere with fulfillment. Having a purpose in life, setting goals, and setting out to achieve them despite having to face fears will lead to this sense of achievement.


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Most people with social anxiety crave personal growth. Many of these individuals read self-help books and scour the internet in search of how to better themselves.

How to Get What You Crave

Seeking out treatment, developing social skills, practicing self-help exercises, eating better, getting enough sleep and exercise, and generally being open to self-development are key strategies for attaining your goals as a person with social anxiety disorder.

It can sometimes feel overwhelming when we try to do too many things at the same time, so start by choosing one thing to work on and, once you feel a sense of accomplishment, choose another. Small changes make lasting changes, whereas big lofty changes (or too many changes at once) can make us feel overwhelmed.

By Arlin Cuncic
Arlin Cuncic, MA, is the author of "Therapy in Focus: What to Expect from CBT for Social Anxiety Disorder" and "7 Weeks to Reduce Anxiety."