It is more than excessive shyness. Social phobia is the fear of social situations, which often prevents normal life.

According to one of the psychological schools, shyness from social phobia differs only in the degree of intensity. The range of anxiety can range from light (slight shyness) to completely impossible to control, escape all self-control (extreme, severe cases of phobias). Are we afraid to call fear of social situations in this case a shyness or a social phobia is of little importance. The core of the problem is important.

The second school distinguishes these two concepts. – According to her, shyness is a character trait of a given person, whereas social phobia is defined as a neurotic disorder – explains psychologist and psychotherapist, MD, PhD Mateusz Borowiec from the Krakow Center for Therapeutics “Arche”. – As a character of character, shyness is accepted by us and does not make life difficult for us. Quite simply, we know about ourselves that we like more intimate bunches, loneliness and peace. On the other hand, in this juxtaposition, social phobia will be what often prevents a normal life.

Therefore, an important factor in a decision about treatment, which can only be talked about in a phobia situation, is a subjective feeling of how the problem with social anxiety lowers the quality of our lives. This is the best indicator in assessing whether the problem of social phobia concerns us.

Where does this fear come from?

This is an important question that should be posed when we begin to face our social inhibitions. However, the final answer is probably only after the therapy. It is thanks to her that we will be able to reach the source of the illness. – There may be many reasons for social phobia. In some people, unresolved internal conflicts may find an outlet in the formation of a phobia. For others, there may not be enough social interactions that would make us “socially fit” enough to relate to success and feel safe. Still in others, the phobia may be a derivative of, for example, low self-esteem, that is to say the tip of the iceberg – explains Dr. M. Borowiec.

Regardless of the type of therapy, which will be selected only after the discovery of the underlying condition, it will always be its main element to get accustomed to social situations. You can not overcome any phobia, without confronting the object or the phenomenon generating anxiety.

Together and gradually

Most social anxiety and fear of public speaking can be overcome by practicing very basic techniques. Then again, therapy with a good specialist experienced in the treatment of phobias is one of the basic medications for social anxiety that can bring long term recovery. It is often supported in parallel with anxiolytics and antidepressants. However, before the psychological and pharmacological effects begin to take effect, let us try to help ourselves by following a few important tips and tricks.

Man stressed while working on laptop
Most stress is unnecessary. What do you do to relieve it?

1. Do not strain yourself

If you have discovered social anxiety at home, it is important that everyday, routine activities like professional work, are not a source of constant stress. You should feel safe in the everyday activities. As much as possible, adjust your repetitive activities to the degree of social discomfort you feel. Humans have this incredible way of overthinking at the most inopportune times. I have an issue where silence brings on a mini panic attack. The quieter it is, the more I think. This is why I will always have music playing softly or a fan on low. That static noise helps settle the stress I am pointlessly creating for myself.

2. Gradually, the difficulty of social situations

Do not jump into the deep water right away. As has already been said, it will not overcome social phobia without getting used to situations that spark fear. However, this taming should start with the least stressful circumstances, for example, participation in a family event or going to a restaurant. I have a natural fear of people because of the environment I was raised in. So public speeches before the large gathering was not my preferred method of easing into my uncomfortability. Starting a YouTube channel was one of the best things I ever did to work on my social anxiety. In no way is it cured, and it probably never will be, but sitting in a room and speaking directly to a camera helped ease into becoming more comfortable while recording.

3. Reward yourself

Rewarding yourself strengthens positive associations with a given social situation on a subconscious level. So always, when you manage even the smallest thing associated with overcoming anxiety, treat yourself to a prize. It doesn’t to be extravagant, but have some Starbucks, go to a movie, or even shop for something cheap on AliExpress. The subconscious will “write” in you that behaving in this particular way in the social situation is a good thing.

There used to be this girl in school that would randomly click her pen every time she had a happy thought. So, throughout the day you would hear this pen out of nowhere. Eventually, she had rewritten herself to associate happiness with that sound. Sitting in class must have been the happiest place on earth. It’s the little things to go the furthest.

4. Tell others about your problem.

This may sound scary, but one of the biggest issues in society today is lack of communication. We tend to sit with our fears and allow them to eat us alive. The art of reaching out takes practice. Most of the time we don’t reach out because with feel we are a burden to someone’s happiness. Well, this is generally not the case. Which is worse? Wallowing in fear and stuck in a never ending loop of anxiety, or, placing ourselves in a mildly uncomfortable position for a few minutes by sharing our feelings with someone that cares?

Some would like to argue they would rather sit in fear and anxiety. This is because they have found comfortability and solitude in the anxious loop because they are so familiar with the feeling. In reality, it does more bad than good.

YouTube is a great place to reach out and connect with your audience. Simply opening with “Hey everyone! I don’t know about you, but I have severe social anxiety so forgive my stuttering. I just wanted to say thank you for being here”. Simply opening with that statement strengthens the connection with your audience and is an amazing ice breaker.

5. Relax as often as possible

Try to unload the cumulative tension as often as possible. Light physical exercises, preferably in the open air, breathing exercises may be helpful. I found that the gym is my safe space and allows me to create necessary stress to truly relax later. Under stress, breathing becomes shallow, which causes the brain to believe we are in a dangerous situation. Breathing as regularly as possible tells your body it can feel free and safe. Basic meditation also works.

Remember, you get good at whatever you practice. So retraining yourself interpret information in a healthier way will relieve stress and anxiety in the long run.

There is social trait that most people feel but never actually put their finger on what it is. It’s called “The invisible audience“. Its natural human behavior to believe that we are the center of the universe. That all eyes are on us. That’s simply not the case. Although you may feel this way, it’s really just you and the camera.

Businessman in the Field Raising Arm for Success
Take a deep breath and remember, life is only as hard as we make it.


Starting a YouTube channel or increasing the quality of your episodes starts with you. Your audience is perceptive and has feelings with similarities too. Did you ever think that maybe a majority of your viewers are just afraid to start their own YouTube channel because of the fear of public speaking? So, if you have even taken the leap to put yourself out there, be proud of yourself. Treat yourself to something nice. I know first hand what high anxiety feels like. Merge that with depression and alcohol, you end up with a failed liver and near death. Thankfully I am still here to write this for you.

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