Five Signs of Social Anxiety and How to Overcome It

Overcoming social anxiety and disengagement from social activities involves breaking the vicious circles of negative thought that maintains the problem and replacing them with more positive and constructive patterns of thinking.

Social anxiety often focuses on worrying about what others are thinking. If you are troubled by such thinking, it is helpful to learn how to recognise and re-evaluate negative and unhelpful current thinking, such as:

Rejecting positive feedback from others. This means that compliments are discounted as untruthful. For example, thinking that a social invitation was made because the person was feeling sympathetic. In contrast, any negative statements from others are taken to heart and analysed in detail.

Filtering. This involves thinking that people must be thinking badly of you, even when there is no evidence for this, e.g. assuming that others are thinking how awful you look. These thoughts often include extreme language, such as always, never ever, nobody, totally.

Self-blaming. If someone behaves badly, self-blamers consider themselves to be responsible. For example, if someone leaves a meeting suddenly, you consider that this must be due to something you did.

Making a catastrophe out of a challenge. This means predicting a complete disaster will follow a setback. People may think that if they perform badly at a specific work presentation, they will never be able to show their faces at work again.

‘If only’ thinking. It can be tempting to imagine that if only a particular problem – acne perhaps – did not exist, then life would be perfect, with a top job and the partner of one’s dreams. No. Beautiful people are not guaranteed to feel confident and happy. Finding positive ways of reconsidering the self is important in order to strengthen self esteem and self-confidence.

Instead of jumping to the conclusion that everyone is thinking about how bad you are looking or behaving, it is more helpful to realise it is impossible to know what others are thinking. Guesswork often involves bringing your own self doubts into sharp focus. More truthfully, it is possible that usually, you are no more or less acceptable than anyone else. Also, it is possible that people are not judging, evaluating or even noticing the behaviour of others too much. Perhaps they are considering the appropriateness of their own behaviour and appearance.

Feeling positive about yourself involves recognising the vicious cycles keeping the problem going, checking thought patterns, and addressing easy challenges first. Looking for alternative ways of thinking will eliminate these negative patterns. Good alternatives can usually be expressed in balanced or moderate terms. Concentrating on strengths as well as perceived weaknesses can add social confidence, as well as attending to what is happening outside oneself, as opposed to what is happening inside. Ultimately, the reduction of social anxiety involves working out the effects of self-consciousness, deciding not to dwell on unpleasant experiences and considering more positive thoughts.

If you would like to learn more about the way the mind works, check out our Psychology courses online!




ADL Success Stories – Dairy Cattle Farming with Annabella Baker

Education opens doors to success windows of opportunity and in at least one case, gates to new possibilities. Such is the case with ADL success story Annabella Baker.  Originally from Italy, but now living in the UK, Annabella faced a tragedy all too familiar to many when she lost her airline job during the Covid

Read More »

Horticulture – Learn the Basics: Three Problems for New Gardeners

Gardens are hard work.  Behind every immaculate lawn and carefully tended flowerbed is a never-ending struggle between nature and gardener. Of course simply leaving the garden to its own devices isn’t really an option; Untended, plants will grow freely for the whole of spring and summer and even into autumn. Worse yet, an uncared for

Read More »

Henry Hoover’s Broken Plug

Some stories of educational achievement soar into the heavens.  Of individuals who through hard work and toil overcame the challenges in their life to achieve. Certainly, at ADL we’ve seen and helped many individuals achieve their dreams through completing a course which helped them get a place at university or begin a new career. This,

Read More »

King Charles and the Grey Goo

If you’ve been in the UK over the past weekend you might have noticed you had a day off on Monday (or looked on enviously as other people had a day off).  The coronation of a new monarch in Charles the Third means a new era. One that the Monarch is especially keen does not

Read More »

Could You Be a Personal Trainer?

If you’re looking for a side business or career that combines a love for fitness and a mentoring role. personal training might be for you Personal training is at it’s heart all about being able to help people live healthier, happier lives.  By combining physical exercise with essential lifestyle changes like diet they help their

Read More »


Scroll to Top


To speak to one of our course advisors, please enter your name and phone number below and click the "Please Call Me" button. We will call you back as soon as possible!

By submitting this form, I provide my consent to ADL to contact me via email or telephone, regarding the course I selected. All information provided is protected in conformity with our Privacy Policy.


required fields are marked with *

By submitting this form, I provide my consent to ADL to contact me via email or telephone, regarding the course I selected. All information provided is protected in conformity with our Privacy Policy.