Social phobia, sometimes seen as a severe form of shyness, is characterised by a constant fear of being in situations with one or more persons, particularly where embarrassment may occur.
Factors that may keep the phobia going, typically include:
- Social situations being seen as a threat and the prediction that they will be negatively judged by others and not be able to cope with the situation.
- The individual becomes self-conscious, where all of their attention is focused on themselves. As a consequence they are more likely to see the reaction from others as negative.
- The individual focuses on the physical sensations e.g. blushing and believes that other people see this as negative.
- The individual may adopt behaviours that they think reduce humiliation, such as avoidance.
Psychological help typically involves, focusing your attention away from yourself. You may be also helped to challenge any self-criticism and develop a more realistic view of the danger associated with social situations.