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What is social phobia? This is an irrational fear of being in society under the gaze of others. And, surprise, introverts aren’t afraid of it – or a little less. Here’s the difference

With the advent of the pandemic and quarantine, the Internet was flooded with memes like “And I didn’t have to get used to staying at home, I already hate going out and talking to people, because I’m such an introverted introvert.”

All jokes, but such an idea is far from who an introvert really is. The difference between an introvert and an extrovert is the way they receive energy. For the first, it is most preferable to replenish the resource in new acquaintances, travel, and exploration of the outside world; introverts, on the other hand, draw energy from the inner world, being with themselves. At the same time, they also have friends, they also love parties and new companies, but with close friends, they are more interested.

Catch 10 signs that you are not an introvert, but are just afraid of people 🙌

1. You don’t like to communicate with people

A socio-phobia is literally someone who is “afraid of people.” For a person with such a disorder, it is scary to communicate not only with new people but also with acquaintances. Usually, they do not have close people or they are, but the socio-phobia constantly doubts the relationship.

2. Are you afraid to talk to strangers

Call and order pizza? Specify the room number in the reception? Ask a consultant to help with the choice? God forbid: the social phobia hates interacting with strangers. And this is not because he is bad and does not like people, it is just that for him such interaction takes a lot of strength and energy. Therefore, by the way, people with social phobia do not like and do not understand small talk, that is, a casual conversation in a queue or in an elevator.

3. You don’t like new places and situations

A person with social phobia knows a store that has everything they need, a place to study/work, their apartment, and a couple of cinemas. Usually, such people do not even know what is in their area or in the city, since they do not like to explore an unknown area. The same goes for elections: such people constantly watch the same TV show, order the same food, wear the same hairstyle – all this gives a sense of safety and security.

4. You don’t like the attention of others

The conversation is not only about public speaking. People with social anxiety fear that everyone will look at them and evaluate their actions.

For example, it is difficult to get up and go to the toilet in a crowded auditorium (“what will they think of me?”) , Ask the driver to stop at the bus stop (“I’m only one going out, he will strain for me”) , tell the waiter about an error in the bill ( “He’ll think I’m picking on” ).

5. You are afraid of embarrassment in public

This one logically follows from the previous point: if ordinary actions cause fear and panic, then events are out of the ordinary completely unsettled. It is difficult for a person with social phobia not only to speak in front of a large audience, but also to argue in front of colleagues, express their opinion in the company of friends, and talk about feelings with a loved one.

6. You don’t like to leave the house

This trait is often romanticized: they say, everyone is so busy, and I lie at home and watch a TV show with a cat. However, with social phobia, it is difficult for a person to take out the trash, go for groceries, get to the pharmacy or hospital. All this worsens the quality of life.

7. You are afraid to start something for fear of failure

Perfectionism is the scourge of all socio-phobes: it seems to them that others will immediately begin to discuss their failures. Therefore, people with social phobia do not start anything, and thereby save themselves from failure.

8. You expect the worst

Few people manage to be a cheerful optimist. However, looking at the future from the position that everything will be bad is the same cognitive distortion as seeing the world through rose-colored glasses. For people with social phobia, it seems that of all the possible options – successful, neutral, and unsuccessful – it is the last one that is most realistic, although, in reality, the probability of each is 1 in 3.

9. You constantly play unsuccessful remarks or conversations in your head

You can’t sleep remembering how awkward you ordered not espresso, but espresso in a coffee shop – is it familiar? People with social phobia cannot get rid of obsessive thoughts about how and when they said something wrong. It doesn’t matter how small and insignificant the phrase was; in their heads, it seems to be the most shameful act in the world.

10. You are physically uncomfortable in public

In large crowds, in classrooms, in new companies, on public transport – in general, wherever there are people, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • sweating;
  • trembling hands and feet;
  • cardiopalmus;
  • Difficulty breathing
  • mild aching abdominal pain or upset stomach;
  • dizziness or girdle headache;
  • it is difficult to choose words, they seem to be forgotten;
  • muscle tension.

If these signs go away when you are safe, you probably have social phobia. Of course, we cannot diagnose you, like you yourself – for an accurate diagnosis, contact a psychologist or psychiatrist

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