Social anxiety is a type of anxiety that presents in social situations. While it’s normal for teenagers to often feel shy and self-conscious, if they are actively avoiding being social or are letting their anxiety rule their life, they may be suffering from social anxiety.
If you’re worried about your teenager, here’s a guide to social anxiety and how it can be overcome.
The Signs of Social Anxiety
While some level of discomfort is normal for teenagers in social situations, there are several signs that may indicate they have a social anxiety disorder:
Worrying about being judged or humiliating themselves
Fear of interacting with strangers, even in everyday situations like speaking to a shop worker
Physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling or blushing when interacting with others
Avoiding situations like birthday celebrations where they’ll be the center of attention
Mulling over the details of each social interaction
It can be hard to spot the signs in teenagers, as they may hide their awkwardness either through avoidance or by getting angry, so look out for the subtle signs.
Those with Social Anxiety Shouldn’t Be Forced to Socialize
If your teenager has social anxiety, the worst thing you can do is tell them to ‘get over it’ or force them into situations like parties or extracurricular activities in an attempt to get over it. However, there are some ways you can help a teenager with social anxiety.
Firstly, speak to them about it and set a goal. For example, they might want to try a new activity or be able to give a report in front of their class. You can then take small steps to help them achieve this.
Social Anxiety Sometimes Requires Professional Help
While you may think social anxiety is nothing serious, ultimately, it can stop teenagers from living their life and achieving their full potential. If you are unable to help your teenager, you may want to consider professional treatment.
Visit igniteteentreatment.com and you can find out more about the sort of programs available for social anxiety, and how they can help young people get their life back on track.
Try to Encourage Teenagers to Relax
Teenagers don’t have an easy life. They constantly feel judged at school, home and everywhere else, and this can make social anxiety worse. You should try and help them find an outlet for their negative feelings and help them find something that relaxes them.
People with social anxiety often overthink things and it can be exhausting, so consider putting them in classes for yoga, crafts, meditation, or anything else that’s relaxing and non-competitive, so they can forget their troubles for a couple of hours a week. Meditation and mindfulness can be good for social anxiety and help teenagers to learn coping techniques.
Social anxiety can be hard for a teenager to overcome and can mean they aren’t achieving their full potential. If your teenager has social anxiety, use the tips above to encourage them to come out of their shell, and enjoy life more.