Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Top customer reviews
It seems more like a guide on social anxiety itself and some basic psychological tricks to think more positively, rather than providing much guidance on how to actually conquer social anxiety. I'd say it's worth a read if your social anxiety is low level, but for an extreme case, look elsewhere for help.
For someone new to the subject just being able to recognise "Yes, that's what I've got" can be really helpful. Getting out of denial is the first step to tackling a problem you might have allowed to grow unchecked for years. SA has many signs and symptoms, affecting multiple areas - how you think, how you behave, on your body and emotions. This book helps you understand how these areas are interrelated, how they affect each other, and hence the things that need to be done to tackle the problem. It shows how many "vicious circles" are maintained - an example of a cycle would be
Avoid conversations with people -> Dread conversations -> Tend to blush when they happen -> Avoid the next conversation
Breaking out of these cycles of thinking/ feeling/ acting forms a major part of the book, which is divided into:-
• Changing thinking patterns
• Doing things differently
• Reducing self-consciousness
• Building up confidence (this can also occur through non-social activities)
These four sets of activities all complement each other, and can create a "virtuous circle" where even a small amount of time regularly spent can produce dramatic improvement. Examples are given of CBT-type exercises you can complete (I'd recommend buying a workbook or jotter to complete these in one place, rather than using scrap paper) such as a Thought Record, simply a table where you fill out each of the following categories:-
• Specific situation (think of a situation in which you use a safety behaviour)
• Prediction (what will happen if you do not keep yourself safe? How will you know if it happens?)
• Experiment (How will you find out? What will you do differently?)
• What actually happened? (What did you observe? Stick to the facts.)
• Conclusions (What does this mean?)
After the event you can then re-think your original belief - e.g. asking yourself how much you believe it now (from 0-100 per cent).
The book gives many examples of how our thinking can be faulty (all or nothing thinking, assuming the worst etc) and also how we can substitute better thoughts for the faulty ones (e.g. by thinking what a helpful friend or parent would say to you, or what you would say to a friend who had the same problem). Changing our perspective in this way can be really helpful, and I think it's similar to the idea of "self-parenting" where we come up with our own solutions and more positive ways of thinking about something.
A good idea the book gives is to create "flashcards" with a belief, assumption or negative thought on one side of the small card and a more healthy perspective in response on the other side. I think this would be really helpful for someone wanting to do something they found anxiety provoking (going to a family occasion, meeting someone of the opposite sex). As we all know, in the middle of a stressful situation the negative thoughts and feelings flow easily and thinking up a positive replacement can be much more difficult - having some "Blue Peter" examples which you prepared earlier could be really helpful.
The book is thoroughly grounded in good research and filled with practical advice - there wasn't anything I read that jarred with me or I viewed as author bias. At the same time the book was a little dry to read, not especially motivational for me, and I had the same feeling about completing the CBT exercise as I would about regularly eating oat bran - no doubt good for me but not especially fun. However the more I got into the book the more the tasks required seemed manageable, and believable, and I can see myself applying them in the coming months. If I spent even 30 minutes a day, five times a week, for two months I'm convinced I would progress a lot, so I'm "sold" on the concept of CBT in that sense.
I would say if someone was feeling very depressed they would probably be better off getting treatment for the depression before tackling CBT, and equally if someone felt able to do positive things (such as attending an SA meet or going out and doing something with friends) they'd be better off doing that than staying at home completing CBT exercises. For people in between, however, I think the exercises would be tremendously helpful. If you're not in a position to do anything social at the moment this book is excellent preparation for taking those first steps. If you are feeling a little better, are getting out a bit more, and feeling a bit brighter in general, I think this book will really complement and reinforce what you are doing. No hesitation in recommending this book for anyone with SA, or for anyone wanting to understand and help an SA friend or relative.
My GP advised I went to a CBT therapist and I did so for 6 months, but found that as soon the course had finished I slowly slipped back into my old habits of avoiding pretty much everything.
I found this book really easy to read and at times found myself saying out loud "yes! that is so me!". I struggle with the words to describe what it's like to have SA but the way this book explains it really hits the nail on the head.
I'm one of those people with SA that seem to shock others when I say I suffer with it, because I am naturally an extrovert and am very loud/talkative around people I know so the 'shyness' part of the book didn't really apply to me, although I can see how it overlaps with social anxiety.
I find this book great to refer to when i'm feeling worried and the Thought Tables / Maps are really good at pin-pointing where the worries stem from. Often it's very hard to know why you are panicking when you're already in a stressful situation so having it clear as day in front of you really helps you realise how unlikely/ridiculous some of the automatic thoughts are.
I would definitely recommend this book to sufferers of SA / people who aren't sure whether they have it.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
Look for similar items by category