Mostly, if you are reading these words, either you suffer from phobia, tension and fear when speaking in front of the public and suffer from what is known as social anxiety, and therefore you are seeking to find a solution to your problem and are looking for practical solutions and direct steps to get rid of it, or you are familiar with this common disorder, and seek To surround it with a scientific formula to form knowledge that may help others later, or out of your general interest in these issues.
And if you are from the first group, that is, who seeks to find the answer, and practical and direct solutions, we advise you to complete this report that you are in now, but if you want to increase your cultural formation and see more details about the subject and know its causes and psychological theories that explain it, we advise you to read the original report in full In which we explain, step by step, the broader psychological disorder, called social phobia, at the following link: (Millions of people suffer from this disorder.. What do you know about social phobia and how to overcome it?).
Fear of speaking in front of the public .. How do I get rid of it?
- First: You have to break the cycle of fear..Avoidance will not help you
Social anxiety stems from your excessive self-awareness, so your perception of life situations before they occur and your thinking about them, during, after and during the social event, is what your anxiety is based on. Which leads you to avoid all of them, as a radical and final solution, but avoidance in this case is not the solution, but rather it is like pouring fuel on the fire of your fears. Yes, in this way, you do not solve the problem, but rather make it more entrenched. Your perceptions and preconceptions tell you: you should avoid or get out of social life as soon as possible.
But the result is that this avoidance will restrict you from taking on new positive experiences, which will have an effective role in boosting your self-confidence and changing your judgment on situations. In short, to avoid everything that worries you socially means less mingling with people and a lack of employing your social skills, which increases your fear of getting involved in a situation against your will, lowering your self-esteem, questioning your abilities and increasing your anxiety even more.
Even when your attempts to avoid it fail, you deal with it with all possible safety behaviors, keep silent, stand in the corner, avoid eye contact with anyone, stay with someone you always know, and the like. These actions convince you that the situation went well, that you faced your fear and were present, so you take it as a protective shell. But these actions only lead to more anxiety. Because you go to the party with a preconceived conviction and act on it, and what you fear happens: no one will talk to you and you will think you are boring or rejected.
- Second: Turn your attention to what is around you, not to yourself
The anxiety stems from checking yourself all the time, putting yourself under a magnifying glass, but you can train your attention to focus on the surroundings. Imagine a muscle in your brain that needs strengthening and strengthening to be able to control it. The technique of “attention training” is used in CBT social anxiety, so spending several minutes alone daily to practice these exercises will help you reduce anxiety (1).
Listen to all the sounds around you, immerse yourself in them and enjoy them as much as possible. You might close your eyes and hear birdsong, roaring cars in the distance, muffled television, or people talking. Look around you and notice the colors and hues in your environment, the strange shadows of buildings on the street, or the colors of cars parked in the garage, or the hue of green between the leaves of a big tree. Listen to a piece of music several times, focusing on one instrument at a time and switching between them, beginning with the piano, then the guitar, then the vocals, and so on.
Little by little, these little exercises improve your ability to shift your attention to what’s around you instead of focusing it all on yourself. Always remember when you are worried, whether in an argument with a stranger, or want to ask a question, to focus on the recipient and force your attention to divert its course from within you.
- Third: What is the worst-case scenario?
Make a list of your social fears and number them, for example, “0” would be (no anxiety), and “10” would be (terrifying and cause a panic attack). Going to a party, giving a presentation at work, eating in a restaurant alone, walking into a room full of people, asking a stranger on the street for an address List them all and rate them, and attach them to your expectations of how things will go, so that you know how you think you will feel then, Quietly ask yourself what is expected and reasonable in case the worst should happen.
Wrong thinking patterns are the reason why you view yourself in social situations in an unfair way. It may help you to start analyzing these thoughts to make the picture clearer to you, so when you go through one of the situations that you listed in your list, compare it to what actually happened on the ground, then you may realize your way in You exaggerated things, that you did not stutter when you had to speak in front of your colleagues, but laughed at the joke I gave, and that you only stood at the party for two minutes, but came to be greeted by an old friend.
- Fourth: Face your fear gradually
You decided to face the monster? Let’s do this with deliberate steps to avoid any shocks. At first you ask your professor the question that came to you in the lecture while he was in his office alone, then when there are only two or three students left in the lecture hall, then in a seminar with little attendance, then in the exam hall, and step by step you will find yourself able to give a presentation in front of the whole class. In conversations, for example, start as a listener, and from time to time ask an open question about the weather, news, car prices, or the last book the listener read. A conversation in which you are engaged. Likewise with the rest of your fears, put your foot in the water inch by inch. But most importantly, do not take avoidance as a false shield for you, as we told you in the first point.
- Fifth: Watch your body
Nicotine, caffeine, and sugar are your enemies in general, and especially important if you suffer from social phobia, these substances trigger your anxiety and stress more than your primary goal of eating them. Some people take cigarettes in times of anxiety and stress, but it causes an increase in their heart rate and blood pressure, and thus anxiety, as is the case with coffee. Therefore, it is recommended to replace it with healthy drinks, such as water and fresh juices.
Also, exercise plays a role in stimulating your blood circulation. It is useful for your calm and body to include in your daily schedule a short walk, a periodic visit to the gym, or any movement activities. Exercise will improve your sleep; This will make you less prone to anxiety, avoiding lack of sleep or deprivation of it, which causes many disorders, including anxiety, depression, high blood pressure and irregular heartbeat (2).
Tools that will help you get rid of fear
Guide: Social Anxiety (Phobias) – A Self-Help Guide
In addition to the explanation of the psychological and physical symptoms of social anxiety, this small booklet gives you space to record your feelings and thoughts and compare them with the symptoms of anxiety in full. This record will help you understand the extent of your anxiety aggravation or allow you to return to it constantly and monitor the level of improvement, so it is recommended to print and write it periodically. It is a translation of a self-help guide designed by the NHS to assess social anxiety.
Book: Why are they looking at me?! A practical program to overcome social anxiety – Dr. Muhannad Al-Aidan
- Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia), Diagnosis Dictionary, Psychology Today.
- The Neurobiology of Anxiety Disorders: Brain Imaging, Genetics, and Psychoneuroendocrinology, Elizabeth I. Martin, et al, The Psychiatric clinics of North America, 2009.