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Social anxiety is not limited to a particular personality. Both extroverts and introverts can suffer from social anxiety. Associating such mental illness with people who prefer being alone is an erroneous notion. It is wise to know whether or not you might be suffering from social anxiety even though you like being around people. This article talks about social anxiety and the existence of Extroverts with social anxiety and provides tips to overcome it.
Often, we see some of our friends who are outgoing, full of energy, and enthusiastic. They are what people refer to as ‘lives of the party.’ Because of their social way of life, they tend to appear loud and exude some confidence level. They are good at making lasting first impressions and quite avid conversationalists. This set of people are referred to as extroverts. Conversations with people energize them. They tend to travel the world, meet new people, and make new friends and experience different cultures. Sometimes we stop to ask ourselves, can extroverts have social anxiety?
However, there is more to being an extrovert than just having a good conversation with friends and being outspoken. We have people who are extroverts in nature but lack specific social skills to satisfy their urges. Extroverts are, most times, people-pleasers, so they sometimes tend to feel anxiety over what people think about them or what people will say if they do some things. A person in this category is referred to as an extrovert with social anxiety.
What is Social Anxiety?
Social anxiety is erroneously associated with introverts. These are people who gain strength in being alone and enjoying their own company. Have you ever seen a sole colleague walking down toward the library, ears plugged in and just quietly humming to herself? The chances are that she is an introvert. She doesn’t feel the urge to interact with anyone to be happy. Social anxiety occurs when a person experiences anxiety disorder symptoms in a social gathering, at a party, or in a large group. It’s sometimes associated with feelings of insecurity or being cautious of who to talk to. Extroverts and introverts are susceptible to social anxiety. Extroverts may sometimes be fearful of doing some things because of the impression it will give people about them. They are most wary about making a wrong impression on a stranger, as they cherish being the center of attraction.
Socially Anxious Extroverts
Social environments energize extroverts. Therefore, socially anxious extroverts are those who crave social time but might lack the skills to socialize. Some go into withdrawal even though they crave social attention because they don’t know how to go about it. Extroverts with social anxiety lack the confidence to socialize, so they feel uncomfortable around people, even though they want to get to know them.
According to research, even though extroverts are energetic people, the extra uncertainty about rules of engagement socially could sometimes make social interaction with new people an insurmountable obstacle.
When extroverts avoid social connections because of their anxiety, they can feel lethargic and depressed. They need social links and, at the same time, wary of them. No matter how hard they try, they can’t seem to get over the fact that they could easily make a fool of themselves by creating a poor or wrong impression. You sometimes see extroverts going about in parties they put together to ensure everyone around them has the best times, seeking opinions on how people feel about the party. They seek approval from others and are concerned about whether people judge or criticize them. That is a severe form of social anxiety, particularly to extroverts. They tend to want to please everyone and at the same time worry that people might not accept them for who they are.
It is not uncommon for extroverts to worry ceaselessly about being accepted by others. They sometimes withdraw from gatherings they would otherwise have loved to shine in as they don’t know if they will be accepted or judged. Nevertheless, it is possible to overcome social anxiety, whether you are an extrovert or an introvert.
Tips for Socially Anxious Extroverts
1. Surround yourself with people that make you Feel Safe
As an extrovert, you should surround yourself with people you trust. Hanging out with people you can discuss anything with will make you feel less insecure. Make room for people you feel secure being with. This way, you have the opportunity to be around people and not feel threatened or antsy.
2. Pay Attend Safe Social Gatherings
Look for safe social situations. Attend gatherings where you have people you trust. Few people you know. Interacting with families’ faces will ease the tension associated with worrying about what they will think of you. Because you know them and already know the kind of people they are, you feel less worried about saying the wrong things or creating a false impression.
3. Attention, Read the Crowd
Be mindful; pay attention to the general atmosphere. Worry less about what might happen in the future. Be patient enough to know what is being discussed. That will enable you to interact freely with people around you without much worry about creating a wrong impression. What is more, you will know when to contribute and when to zip it.
4. Set Achievable Goals
Start small; you might want to set small achievable goals for yourself. As an extrovert with social anxiety, you may choose to have a plan to make a new friend every day of the week. Or yours might be to go to a minor gathering on weekends and ensure you participate. No matter the goals you set, make sure you achieve them. Progress might be slow, but it sure will help in the long run. With each achieved goal, you build more confidence. That will set you on a part to overcoming your social anxiety.
As you try to navigate through social anxiety, remember it can happen to anyone and that you are not alone. Being an extrovert does not make your case a different one. There are a lot of extroverts out there battling the same. Social anxiety is a severe mental illness, but if properly handled, with the right help, you can overcome it.
It is advised that you seek help from professionals, be it online or physical. Reaching out to a therapist might not be a bad idea; in fact, this can be a positive step to overcoming it. Therapy has been proven to help overcome cases of social anxiety. You can always get help. Ensure to talk to your loved ones about your case and let them help you on your journey to overcome it.