Overcome Social Fears through Progressive Desensitization

Scared-turtle-300x230Let us get down straight to the main subject – what exactly does one need to do in order to overcome or get rid of social fears such as shyness or social anxiety?

The only way to overcome this is to start by facing fear. The main reason why most people are shy or socially anxious is because they tend to always avoid situations which they feel uncomfortable in, which is the equivalent of running away from fear.

If anyone of the following sounds like you, then you definitely are running away from your fear, and they do not help in the long run as it only reinforces the belief of fear and make it worse.

  • Do you avoid taking the lift when you see someone else waiting for the lift?
  • Do you try to avoid someone you feel attracted to? For instance when you see a girl you like walking towards you, you tend to try to look away and walk in the other direction?
  • Do you often tend to keep quiet in group conversations or when with people you are uncomfortable around?

If all these sounds like something you would do, then you definitely suffer from shyness or social anxiety. And the ONLY way for you to get rid of these social fears is to face them and be exposed to these situations.

How to Overcome Any Fear

Being exposed to situations where you face the fear is the only probably way to overcome any fear. What this means is that you slowly keep exposing yourself to the things you fear over and over again until you no longer feel scared of them. This is also called progressive desensitization in medical terms, as you slowly desensitize yourself to what you fear.

Actually, a lot of the fear is still there. Just that because you have been exposed to these situations numerous times, you slowly become numb to the feeling of fear and fear does not affect you as much before.

Now that you know that overcoming fear is not really a fun activity anymore, would you still be willing to continue to do it? The benefits definitely greatly outweigh the pain and trouble at the start.

Firstly, you have to start by willing to put yourself into uncomfortable situations that make you feel shy, nervous, tense or socially anxious. You need to be willing to endure and soak up all this short-term discomfort in order to change your life for the better in the long term!

Fear is actually a good thing – stop avoiding it!

If you do not start by firmly stating your own conviction to get rid of shyness and social anxiety, then you will definitely run away from the fear and discomfort you face 99% of the time. And this will not help you to change.

If you carefully think about it, most of our deepest desires are surrounded with fear. This is why it always seems like only a few people seem to be capable of doing them, because they have managed to overcome their fear.

Things such as making new friends, becoming good at public speaking, talking confidently to a girl you like – all of these probably contain the element of fear when you hear of them immediately. But aren’t those really the things that you desire deep down, right now?

So stop running away from your fear right now and face them. Whenever you are in a situation where you face fear, think to yourself that this is a perfect chance for you to change, rather than running away from it. Grit your teeth and go through them!

If you need a few simple tips to just get relaxed in the moment and get through the situations, then you might want to check out these 2 simple methods for you to learn how to cope with social anxiety. If not, then you can go back to the original article How to overcome shyness to move on to the next step!

Filed under: Overcome Shyness, Shyness. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Overcome Social Fears through Progressive Desensitization

  1. Meow says:

    I agree with you, it is indeed very possible to achieve this over time slowly. I guess a lot of people like me expect to see instant results overnight, or that whenever we try something new it actually backfires and make things worse.

  2. Jimmy says:

    Thanks for this great tip. But it really seems like a lot of hard work and effort. I hope I will be able to do and achieve this.

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