By nature, human beings are social creatures. Even those who struggle with social anxiety crave interaction with other people despite the stress that it causes them. The desire for socialization is what makes the sting of rejection when you have anxiety so much more difficult. Asking for that first date or finding out that your friends made plans without you can leave you feeling rejected. Then your social anxiety can cause you to retreat into yourself and begin to overanalyze the entire situation.
When you have social anxiety, rejection is terrifying. In many cases, the perceived rejection isn't really happening. Social anxiety makes you feel like you are being rejected or that you have done something wrong. When something goes wrong during a social interaction, the mind may perceive or misinterpret the exchange as something hurtful or negative even if the overall experience was a positive one. This then resonates as confirmation that you have done something wrong and further fuels your social anxiety.
These instances of rejection can be difficult to understand or process for someone who struggles with social anxiety. The rejection may not be as real as it is perceived to be and can make the person who feels that they were rejected want to remedy the situation and redeem themselves with the person who refused them. This action can backfire, causing awkward situations or social boundaries to be overstepped. Increasing efforts to make up for these subsequent situations or to prevent it from happening in their next interaction can cause even more significant amounts of anxiety.
Social interactions which do not go smoothly can be emotionally devastating for someone with social anxiety and can be physically draining. Lashing out is a typical response to rejection, and it can make it more difficult for the person with social anxiety to calm down and be able to analyze the situation. During these times of heightened emotion, usual coping methods and practices may be ineffective. An increased anxiety response is typical when significant failures overshadow the small victory of engaging in social interactions.
At Legacy Freedom, we understand that living with social anxiety can make everyday situations difficult. We've helped thousands of clients overcome their social anxiety and learn new and healthy ways to cope with the negative thoughts, feelings, and situations that trigger their anxiety. By combining traditional talk therapy with alternative treatment methods, our staff can create a care plan that is focused on you and your needs not just your social anxiety.
Our holistic approach to mental health care lets us treat the whole person. We know that when you feel good and have the right resources to fall back on, change is possible. Call or click to connect with our care team today! Stop letting your social anxiety run your life. Take back control with mental health counseling from Legacy Freedom.
Join us next time for tips and strategies for handling rejection.