Overcoming Social Phobia (Social Anxiety)
- Chris Harrison
- 24th May 2012 - Updated 8th September 2013
Unlike most phobias, social phobia cannot be cured with a single 'one-size-fits-all' cure such as the NLP Fast Phobia cure. That's because Social Phobia is technically not a phobia at all. Social phobia is really a form of anxiety rather than a phobia, which probably explains why it's often refered to as Social Anxiety. Overcoming Social Phobia takes much more time and effort than curing a simple phobia.
The first thing you need to do when overcoming social phobia, or social anxiety is recognize the various stimulus that cause you problems. Maybe you're fine in your local bar with your close friends, but feel anxious when you're out of town surrounded by strangers. Maybe you feel fine with your work colleagues but struggle in conversations with a particular boss or with people you don't know so well. Maybe you're fine with people you're not attracted too. You may find it worthwhile to keep a diary so that you can list as specifically as possible which issues you need to deal with and work out what your triggers are.
Confidence is often closely related to social phobia/anxiety. Maybe you simply don't feel worthy in particular circumstances and the voices kick in. A lot of social phobia issues are also related to self image.
Once you are aware of the situations which cause you discomfort, you need to work out the internal processes for each one. For many people, their social anxiety is related to an internal voice, or maybe you make images in your mind and play out scenarios that show you in a bad light and make you feel bad. Some people imagine what other people may think of them - this is a form of mindreading and unless you're Derren Brown - WHAT DO YOU KNOW? The main problem with this kind of thinking is that it leads to further uncomfortable social events and so the cycle continues as you act uncomfortable around people, making them uncomfortable around you, building a stronger and stronger feedback mechanism and ruining your chances of ever overcoming social phobia.
Identifying these triggers is the first step of all NLP interventions; The article Symptons of Social Phobia (Social Anxiety) may help remind you of the areas you need to think about. Once you have worked out a few of your trigger people or events then working through the NLP exercises below will help to uncover your unconscious processes and provide actions to resolve them so you can take the first steps to overcoming social phobia.
How do you overcome a Social Phobia?
Once you have identified some of the scenarios that you want to work on, then it's time to find the correct approach to resolving the problem.
There are many techniques and exercises on PlanetNLP.com that can help you with overcoming social phobia so the key is finding the one's that help you.
If your problem is mostly confidence related then check out the Confidence Building Exercises.
If you struggle with internal voices try the exercise Mommy make it go away!
One of the most common problems that people have overcoming social phobia issues is that they simply aren't aware of the internal processes that cause them problems. It can take a while working with NLP to become adept at recognizing your own internal processes, but it is possible to improve your ability to analyze your own thinking processes. Working through certain lessons and techniques on PlanetNLP is a good way to do this and to start to learn to control your brain.
Start out by learning about how your brain processes information and attaches meaning to your past and learn to change the way you feel about your memories with the NLP Memory Manipulation - Change the Content of your Memories Lesson. Once you have a good understanding of content changes, move on to the NLP Submodalities - Change your Reality NLP Lesson. At this point you should be able to work through whichever of the NLP Exercises seem relevant to the issues you still have to resolve.
Over time as you pick off specific elements of your social phobia you may find that some of the exercises become automatic; You unconsciously know how to get rid of a bad memory so do it automatically. This is when NLP becomes integrated into your own brain and life becomes much easier and you can really make progress overcoming social phobia.
Are there any products you can buy for overcoming Social Phobia?
If you wish to try a different approach to NLP for overcoming social phobia/social anxiety, or would rather not work through the issues yourself without a professional, then I can recommend hypnosis products from HypnosisDownloads.com as being very helpful. They have many products that can help you deal with your social phobia, some of which are listed below. If your issue is more related to confidence then I can recommend Paul McKennas Instant Confidence book and CD which I have reviewed.