Don’t Let Your Creative Mind Fuel Your Social Anxiety

By Traci Pedersen

Many sufferers of social anxiety are highly sensitive, introspective individuals who simply fall into the mindtrap of extreme self-consciousness in unfamiliar social situations. Self-consciousness is essentially a fear-driven derivative of introspection, the ability to examine one’s own self.

Research also has shown that people who score high in traits of neuroticism, including anxiety, fear and worry, tend to have extremely active imaginations. In other words, the worrywarts and overthinkers of the world simply are using their creative minds to imagine the worst-case scenarios instead of the best.

Unfortunately, this is often the case when we introspective types enter new social situations: we let fear do the driving. We closely monitor ourselves with an extra pair of judgmental eyes, trying to catch anything embarrassing or awkward before anyone else does: the way we’re talking, the way we just laughed, or how we just moved our left arm in that awkward way. Then comes the imaginative part: That person thinks I’m ridiculous, weird, dumb, etc.

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