Social Warriors have the art of socialising down to a fine art don’t they? No social anxiety for them! They breeze into a room, without a care in the world? Totally un-self conscious and able to hold an interesting and witty conversation with anyone about anything.
Social Warriors find it easy to be relaxed and confident and comfortable in their own skin. They are completely the opposite of how you feel if you are one of the millions of Social Worriers out there. Yes millions – you are not alone – not by a long chalk. In fact even some of those Social Warriors who seem to have it all together will be beset with internal anxiety. And often crippled by self -doubt on the inside.
Whether you are both inwardly a Social Worrier or whether you are able to put on a good show social anxiety can and does blight lives. For those who have never experienced it this might sound like a dramatic statement. But for sufferers it is a daily challenge to overcome and deal with the heightened emotions and feelings caused by social anxiety.
Social pitfalls are everywhere
There are so many situations to deal with every day that require us to engage with others. Making small talk with complete strangers or completing all sorts of transactions that will require people to ‘look at us’.
Social Worriers can go into a tailspin at the thought of picking up a phone to order a takeaway. They may be totally overwhelmed at the thought of meeting someone new for the first time. They spend hours rehearsing a conversation over and over before taking the plunge. And they are likely to break out in a cold sweat if asked to introduce themselves to a small group of people.
If your stomach is churning as you read this, or you are having palpitations at the thought then you are typical of a Social Worrier. The event or occasion or task doesn’t even have to be real to set away those feelings of panic or overwhelm.
Why does it feel like you are programmed to feel this way?
And that’s strange isn’t it? Why do we get such intense feelings at the mere thought of doing something we find uncomfortable?
Well – it is a learnt reaction. A programme that is running in our subconscious. After all, we weren’t born with a fear of talking to strangers. Or a sense of embarrassment at talking in groups of more than two people. Or feeling stupid when we have to ask a question we feel we should know the answer to.
Somewhere along the way, probably before the age of 6) something made us feel embarrassed, uncomfortable or awkward around people. It might not have been a big thing – and you are undoubtedly unaware of it. But those feelings that you experience now, are your subconscious’ way of stopping you from having that experience again.
In effect it is saying ‘remember how you felt the last time that happened – this is the feeling you had – you don’t want to feel that again do you’? Admittedly, it is not the best system in the world – giving you unpleasant feelings to stop you from experiencing unpleasant feelings – but that is the way it works.
How do you change the programme?
The million dollar question is – how do we ‘undo’ that programme – how do we rewrite it?
Well EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or tapping as it is commonly known is helping thousands of people all around the world. It changes them from Social Worriers to Social Warriors.
It works by stimulating certain meridian or energy points in the face and upper body using the fingertips to tap gently. At the same time you focus on how you feel when you think about a situation that you find uncomfortable or awkward.
In a nutshell, the tapping encourages the production of endorphins (and reduces cortisone levels (the stress hormone) sending calming signals to the brain. This means that the feeling of panic, or embarrassment or any other negative feeling is replaced by feelings of calm and a new programme is written.
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