How to Cope with Social Anxiety in Adolescents
Do you struggle with social situations or giving presentations? Here are eight strategies for dealing with social anxiety as a teenager!
Many of the internet’s social anxiety issues appeal directly to parents, instructing them on how to help their kid.
This is going to be aimedat teenagers specifically. After all, you’re your own person, and you’re the one who has to deal with it.
Let’s go over a few fundamentals before diving into the themes…
What is the definition of social anxiety?
Social anxiety is a mental health issue in which illogical anxiety is caused by social interactions. Of sure, that is the correct definition.
It’s essentially a sensation of nervousness when you’re in social situations without the fancy language. It doesn’t matter if it’s a party or a school presentation.
Fear, uneasiness, self-conscious thoughts, and embarrassment are all possibilities. This is perfectly typical for a teenager to go through.
It can develop as a result of earlier family or school trauma, most commonly as a result of being criticised or bullied by others.
But how do you know if you have it or not?
What Are the Signs That I Have Social Anxiety?
Many of these examples will ring true if you had social anxiety as a teenager:
You believe that everyone is continually making fun of you.
You’re usually apprehensive about approaching strangers.
In talks, you avoid making eye contact.
You despise making telephone calls.
It appears tough to strike up a discussion with strangers.
In your thoughts, you repeat earlier discussions.
You always feel as if others are judging you.
If any of these statements apply to you, you may be suffering from social anxiety.
It can be as severe as feeling judged solely on the basis of how you cross a street, or it can be more mild, such as getting nervous in large crowds.
In any case, these are all common and normal feelings that can be addressed by following certain tips, visiting a therapist, or confronting your fears.
The fact that you’re reading this indicates that you want to improve your social skills or, at the very least, reduce your anxiety.
Here are a few reasons why you should address your social anxiety:
You’d like to be more outgoing.
You don’t want to have to cancel plans with people all the time.
You’re attempting to overcome your apprehensions.
It prevents you from being who you truly are.
Your future career will necessitate a great deal of social interaction.
You wish to improve your self-assurance.
All of these are compelling reasons to acquire some new techniques that you can use in your next social contact.
How to Cope with Social Anxiety in Adolescents
Here are eight strategies for dealing with social anxiety at school, at home, or at events…
1) Speak with just one person in a group.
When trying to speak to a bunch of friends/classmates, it’s easy to get your brain spinning and your stomach whirling.
Rather than speaking into the void or to the entire group, concentrate on one individual nearby.
This will help your mind realize that the task at hand isn’t as difficult as it appears, allowing you to concentrate on your words.
If you’re naturally introverted, this will be easier because you’re probably already good at having one-on-one conversations (so treat it as such)!
Remember that people do not exist in groups. Individual people are the only ones you can look at, see how they’re feeling, and have fundamental interactions with.
I strongly advise you to try this advice the next time you’re at a party or presenting a presentation and see how it makes you feel.
Pro tip: If you’re having trouble focusing on the person you’re speaking to, try looking at a friend in the group.
2) Bring up previous topics of discussion
This is one of the most effective strategies for dealing with social anxiety in teenagers!
Starting a basic conversation with a new person or group is always a good place to start when introducing yourself.
Inquire about their classes, sports, the clothes they’re wearing, and so on, and the conversation will flow naturally.
When you’re in an awkward pause in a conversation, however, ask more questions about previously discussed topics.
Conversation threading is the term for this. It’s basically the process of looking for more open-ended questions within the topics you’re already discussing.
Trying to come up with new conversation starters on the spot is extremely difficult and can cause even more social anxiety.
It’s much easier to focus on current topics and ask real questions as if you were genuinely curious about what people are talking about
3) Count to 3 and Go
We’ve all been in a situation where we’re constantly asking ourselves… “Should I introduce myself? ”
Before your thoughts start spiraling unnecessarily, take a deep breath, count to 3, and just go for it
You’ll be sorry for the rest of the day if you don’t do it. You might become a terrific friend, classmate, or acquaintance if you do it!
“I don’t believe we’ve met before… I’m John (or whatever your name is),” is a simple way to introduce yourself.
You can then follow up by complimenting them (people always love compliments and talking about themselves).
4) Make an effort to overcome your fears.
I know it’s easier said than done.
Here’s a fantastic place to start taking baby steps (say these words to yourself):
Remind yourself that anxiety affects everyone.
People enjoy discussing themselves.
People are also eager to meet you.
Keep your back straight and talk clearly.
Concentrate on one person at a time.
Start small by chatting to a friend of a friend once you have all of these little reminders in your head.
You can also practice by making phone calls (which is much easier because you are not need to be in front of them).
Another wonderful method to get started is to bring a friend with you to all social occasions. You’ll always have them to fall back on if a joke fails or you run out of things to say!
5) Pretend you’re conversing with yourself
Pretending to be talking to yourself in conversations is a common tip given by therapists to those with social anxiety.
This will calm your nerves and make you feel more at ease.
If you suffer from social anxiety, you probably already talk to yourself when no one else is around. Use it as a guide to help you communicate in that manner with others.
Feeling judged by others is frequently a reflection of how you view yourself. Allow your insecurities to serve as a reminder that you are not alone.
You’ll impress more people if you don’t strive too hard to impress them. As if you were alone in your room, be yourself and converse with others.
6) Take Advice From Others
Do you have any classmates or friends that always seem at ease in social situations?
Observe and learn from what they do…
What is their posture like? What types of inquiries do they make? What does their body language say about them? How can they make a good first impression on new acquaintances?
These are some of the questions you might ask yourself when learning from others.
Visual learning is employed in every aspect of life, including sports, humor, school, and social contact.
Start carefully incorporating what you’ve learned into your social game. It’s possible that having talks will become a lot easier.
7) Maintain Control Over Your Breathing
In social situations, it’s common for us to lose control of our breathing. To deal with the worry and keep us out of danger, we use our “fight or flight” response.
You can reduce nervousness by focusing on your breathing and controlling it when it becomes out of control.
Slowing down your breathing can help you control it. Take few deep breaths.
When you appear relaxed in a conversation, you will appear more confident to others. It’s a well-known psychological ruse.
It will also help you speak more smoothly and for longer periods of time without having to choke or gasp for air on a regular basis.
8) Keep a supply of conversation starters on hand.
It’s always a good idea to go into anything with a plan. Social interactions are included in this!
To keep the conversation going, have a few good conversation starters on hand, as well as some follow-up questions.
Remember, you’re not attempting to conduct an interview with anyone. These should be open-ended and friendly questions.
Here’s a comprehensive list of teen conversation starters to help you find your favorites.
The following are a few of my personal favorites:
Are you currently watching any shows?
How are things going in your classes so far?
I really like your “clothing item”! What store did you get it from?
Before this, where did you go to school?
Do you participate in any sports?
I’d like to take a trip shortly. Do you have any suggestions?
Many of these questions are open-ended, and they can easily lead to more in-depth discussions.
The best inquiries are those that are especially tailored to that person (such as a specific item they’re wearing), so if you can, ask those first.
Learning how to deal with social anxiety as a teenager isn’t easy.
However, by following these suggestions, you will be well on your way to minimizing your overall worry.
Always remember to begin small, but begin! It is, without a doubt, the only way to progress (although slowly).
Calls and FaceTimes are both quick and easy ways to get started.
Another suggestion: concentrate on your self-assurance (especially when going out). Dress to make you feel good, and you’ll look and feel your best