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How Social Anxiety Affects Self-Esteem

You may have always wondered why your self-esteem seems to be decreasing the more you enter social situations. It seems as soon as you’re talking to someone, or a group of people, your self-esteem plummets and you feel that they are judging you. Or, if you’re meeting someone new your brain starts to race with thoughts of how you could have done something differently or said the wrong thing.

A Loop of Self-Doubt and Negative Thinking Impacts Self-Esteem

So, what happens? You become hyper-vigilant and begin to overthink and overanalyze yourself and how others perceive you. It becomes a loop of self-doubt and negative thinking that continues to spiral out of control. You end up engaging in unhelpful thinking patterns such as labeling, black-and-white thinking, emotional reasoning, and rumination. This kind of repetitive thought process can cause a decrease in self-esteem, which can lead to an increase in symptoms of a social anxiety disorder (SAD). As a therapist at Care Therapy Online, I specialize in helping people overcome the symptoms of social anxiety disorder and engage fully in their lives.

Graphic with different words related to anxiety on it representing the impact social anxiety disorder can have on your life. Therapy for Social Anxiety in Orange County, CA can help.

The Truth is, Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is Really Good at Distorting What is Actually Happening. 

In the moment, it may feel like everyone is judging you when they’re not. It’s important to remember that your thoughts are not always reflective of reality. Social Anxiety is good at creating false or misleading perceptions of oneself or situations. It affects how you react, behave, and feel. This can lead you to fear judgment and embarrassment, which can increase avoidance or compensatory behaviors that reinforce low self-esteem.

Fear of Embarrassment Leads to Avoidance

Then there are little or no opportunities to face or discover your social fears, which can lead to a lack of confidence in yourself and your abilities. For instance, you may avoid conversations or interactions with strangers because you believe that it will lead to embarrassment or rejection. But by engaging in avoidance, you’ll discover and learn that your fears rarely turn out as bad as you think and you can handle it.

Two women sitting together having coffee at a cafe repreasenting the social connections that can be made when you overcome Social Anxiety Disorder in Orange County, CA through therapy.

Social Anxiety Will Lessen and Self-Esteem Will Improve and Slowly Develop with More Social Experience

So, what can you do? In what ways can you start to challenge your anxiety and boost your self-esteem? You know that it’s time to take back control of your life and start to believe in yourself again.

Challenge Yourself to Increase Self-Esteem

One way to start to increase self-esteem and challenge social anxiety is to continue putting yourself in situations that you may find uncomfortable. This may make you cringe, and I understand that. But, remember that you have the strength and courage to push through any situation. Challenge yourself to come out of your comfort zone. Taking risks, whether they are planned or random, can help increase self-confidence and allow you to practice your social skills. For example, talking to the person you’re interested in even if it doesn’t turn out the way you want, or attending a social gathering and initiating a conversation with someone you don’t know or would like to get to know more. These are situations that can help you build your self-esteem.

Socialize More

If you want to gain more skills in any area, the key is practice. Try to find social events in your area or online and attend them. If you can go by yourself, go! People who are shy or suffer from social anxiety, tend to stick to a friend every time they go out. This only will hinder your progress and reinforce your fear of socializing by yourself.

An Opportunity to Learn More About Yourself

For instance,  if you’re feeling nervous about going to a party, think of it as an opportunity. It’s an opportunity for you to learn more about yourself, about socializing more in a group setting, and get to know more people. If you make it a goal to talk with at least three people, then it won’t feel so intimidating. After you meet your goal, then you can go a step further and talk with more people.

Mistakes are Learning Experiences

This can be a challenging one, but it’s true. The interactions you have that don’t go as you wanted or planned are learning opportunities to show you how you can improve next time. This is not a failure on your part, it’s a chance to grow and gain more skills. We all make mistakes, but those mistakes can be great teachers if we use them to our advantage.

Practice Asserting Yourself

For example,  if you feel like someone didn’t take your opinion into consideration try to use it as an opportunity to practice assertiveness. This way you will be able to make sure your opinion is heard and respected. Also, it’s necessary to be kind to yourself after moments like this. You did nothing wrong and you’re doing the best you can, so don’t be too hard on yourself.

Self-Esteem Will Improve Over Time

These strategies will help you improve your self-esteem and help you build back your confidence. It won’t happen overnight, but if you take it one step at a time and continue to challenge yourself then soon enough you will regain the trust in yourself and the belief that you can accomplish anything. You got this! Believe in yourself, be patient, and take it day by day.

Group of women sitting together on a couch laughing and engaging socially representing women who have overcome Social Anxiety with the help of Therapy for Social Anxiety in Orange County, CA.

Begin Therapy for Social Anxiety in Orange County, CA

With time and practice, you can learn how to cope better with your social anxiety and self-esteem. You will gain the skills and confidence you need to succeed in any social situation. But sometimes, support and guidance from a professional can be the best way to overcome social anxiety and low self-esteem. At Care Therapy I specialize in working with women who have social anxiety. Together we will work on your social skills to help you feel confident in any social situation. We will work on current problems, develop your life toolbox, and live the life you truly want for yourself. You will process any emotions that come up and learn to replace negative thoughts with more positive ones. You can succeed in socializing, dating, and living a life free from fear. If you are interested in starting Therapy for Social Anxiety, follow the steps below to begin your journey to healing.

One: Schedule a Free 30-minute Consultation

Two: Get to know more about me and my Services

Three: Reach out to me via email @support@caretherapyonline.com or call 949-441-CARE

Four: Begin building your self-esteem and overcoming your social anxiety!

Other Therapy Services Offered by Care Therapy ONLINE

In addition to Therapy for Anxiety, I also work with women who are struggling with depression and women who are in the midst of kidney failure and dialysis. We will work together to help you create a strong support system and find the resources necessary to help you live your best life.