How does a person with social phobia feel?

Most people who have social phobia have a strong fear of being embarrassed in front of people. People who have social phobia feel as though everyone is watching them and will see them blush, sweat or otherwise show their fear and anxiety. They may feel inferior and think everyone around them is so much more confident and socially relaxed. People with social phobia usually know their fears are not completely rational, but they still find themselves dreading social situations. They may go out of their way to avoid some events. If people with social phobia do out to an event, they usually feel very nervous before the event and very uncomfortable during it.

Some main feelings include:

  • Worrying a lot about making a fool of yourself in front of other people
  • Feeling very anxious before going into any of the social situations you worry about
  • Going through in great detail all the embarrassing things that could happen to you
  • Unable to say, or do the thing you want to do
  • After an event worrying about how you handled the situation. You may go over, again and again, how you might have behaved differently or said different things.

Emotional and behavioural signs and symptoms of social phobia include:

  • Intense fear of being in situation in which you don’t know people
  • Fear of situations in which you are being judged
  • Worrying about embarrassing or humiliating yourself
  • Feel that others will notice that you look anxious
  • Anxiety that disrupts your daily routine, work, school or other activities
  • Avoiding doing things or speaking to people out of fear or embarrassment
  • Avoiding situations where you might be the centre of attention.
  • Drinking too much alcohol in order to try to reduce your anxiety.
  • Taking drugs to hide your anxiety


Medication is sometimes used to relieve the symptoms of social phobia. They can be used most successfully in combination with therapy and other self help techniques that address the root cause of the social phobia.

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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is based on the premise that what you think affects how you feel, and your feelings affect your behaviour. So if you change the way you think about social situations that cause you to be anxious, you will feel and function better.