SOCIAL ANXIETY EXPLAINED: sad vs. shyness vs. introversion

SOCIAL ANXIETY EXPLAINED: sad vs. shyness vs. introversion


Hello and welcome back. This is the first
video out of six videos I’m about to post on social anxiety, and I want to be
discussing a bunch of topics such as: social anxiety versus shyness versus
introversion, a list of all the social situations that might cause anxiety, what
therapy might look like, a model of how anxiety… social anxiety works – something that a therapist might create during a therapy session, ways to cope with social anxiety, and how therapy changed me, not just in regards to social anxiety,
but also as a human being in general and the way I deal with people and
relationships. As always, I need to stress that I’m not a therapist, I’m not a
psychiatrist, all of this is based on my own experience as someone who has been
struggling with social anxiety for the past 15 years, at least… I think. And yeah I went to about 50 therapy sessions so… all of this is based on my experience
and on my research. So please, don’t ask me to do something similar about a
different mental disorder, because, as I’ve said many times before, I do not
suffer from any other mental disorder than social anxiety, so I simply cannot
speak about something I don’t really know in detail, because I have not
experienced it. I want this series to be helpful, there will be a lot to learn, but
I really wouldn’t want this to be a replacement to therapy. I would really
prefer if you actually went to a specialist and, you know, got properly
diagnosed. Okay, so now that we’ve got the housekeeping out of the way, we can
finally move on. Social anxiety, shyness and introversion. If I was to put these on a spectrum, then here would be someone who experiences no to very mild anxiety
or shyness. Here is someone who experiences shyness, and here would be someone who suffers from social anxiety. But you have to
remember that it’s still a spectrum, so the severity of anxiety might vary.
Introversion is completely someplace else and it’s different than all of the
above, but all of these definitely may mix, Most of the time, people with social
anxiety are both introverts and consider themselves shy. However, there are some
exceptions, so you could have someone who considers himself to be an
extrovert, but he or she would have social anxiety. And you could also have
someone who suffers from social anxiety, but does not consider him or herself shy.
I know that both of these sound counter-intuitive, but these actually
happen a lot more often than you might think. And now, I want to go into detail
about the differences between social anxiety, shyness and introversion. The
first difference is that social anxiety results in a highly impaired quality of
life, while shyness doesn’t really affect you that much. When you are just shy, you
might experience some anxiety from time to time, but it’ll never stop you from engaging in various activities. Social anxiety will. As an example: I got an opportunity to work on a short film abroad. So
basically… you know… nice script, a well paid job, a dream come true, but I
instantly said no because of my social anxiety. One – I was terrified of working
on a real film set with professionals watching me and two – I was terrified of
having to use English. So to sum up: even if it’s a dream come true,
social anxiety will stop you from doing it because you will be terrified of all
the ways things might go wrong. Another example: I really wanted to try exercising at the gym, but I’ve avoided it for many, many years. And yeah, basically… I was just…
I think I was just scared I would make an idiot out of myself, I wouldn’t
know how to use equipment and so on. And only after a… year of therapy and with the help of a personal trainer, I finally found the courage to go. And the last
example: with social anxiety you will not go out on a date with someone you fancy,
even if they are the ones who asked you out, so you know that they actually wanna
go out with you. And with shyness, you might be a little bit nervous beforehand, but all in all, you will be very excited to go out with your crush and have some
fun. These are just a few examples. People with severe social anxiety might actually avoid all social situations. So again, to sum up: with social anxiety you won’t just feel anxious in various situations, but you will avoid them altogether or
endure them with intense distress. Difference number two: the anxiety you
feel with shyness usually goes away after you expose yourself a couple of
times to a specific situation, a stressor or if you get used to someone. With
social phobia, anxiety persists even if you are continuously exposed to a feared social situation. Difference number three: social anxiety gives you a lot more
physical symptoms than shyness does, so: all the sweating, all the blushing,
feeling lightheaded, a blank mind, tremors, shaking, heart rate going up, thoughts racing, and so on and so on. With shyness, you might blush a little bit, you might have
a mild stomachache, but you generally won’t have any difficulties with forming
and releasing thoughts. Difference number four: shyness happens occasionally and social anxiety is an everyday struggle. Difference number five shy people are generally not that scared o f makinga mistake. They are simply a little bit self-conscious and… you know… They are just worried about what others might think of them. Social anxiety on the other hand is caused by a very specific set of underlying issues. People with social anxiety are terrified of any form of judgment. They are terrified of making a mistake, so they have to be perfect all
the time. If they do something wrong, they assume that people will just remember it
for eternity and laugh until they die. They are scared of eating in public
places, they are scared of typing in front of someone. So basically, the
difference here… The other difference here is that while shyness is generally…
Generally only happens when you have to have a conversation with someone,
social anxiety can occur even if you don’t really have to interact with
anyone. Difference number six: people social anxiety overanalyze everything they do. They overanalyze what might happen before a social event and they
overanalyze what happened during the event after it ends. So basically, they
will start thinking about every single word that left their mouths. They might
sometimes spend a whole night thinking about what they could have said
differently in a conversation… during a conversation that took place three years
ago. And shy people don’t usually do this. Shyness is more of a “in the moment” thing.
And difference number seven, so the last thing that comes to mind is probably the
amount of planning a socially anxious human does. So… I would plan… I used to
plan everything. I would plan how a simple conversation might go
at a restaurant. All the different ways… All the different things that the waiter
might ask me. I planned what to say, planned where to go… And if I had to make a phone call, if I really had to make phone call, I would write everything I
wanted to say down, in full sentences, which is insane, I know. But there’s more:
when something did not go according to plan, and someone would ask me a question
I was not prepared for I would fully panic, and I just didn’t know what to say.
With shyness you might get a little bit nervous before an upcoming event, but you won’t plan it with such detail. You’ll just head out and tackle things as you go, and even if you do plan, with shyness all of the planning will help reduce the
anxiety. And with social anxiety, no matter how much you plan, no matter how detailed a conversation might be in your head, it does not reduce the anxiety. Now moving on to social anxiety versus introversion. And to explain the differences here I will use the party example. If you’re just an introvert, you
choose to stay at home at a smaller party with your friends, because that’s a
preference, you’re not scared of judgment. If you have social anxiety, you might not
necessarily be an introvert, but you will still choose the smaller, home party,
surrounded by your friends, because you will be scared of judgment and it’s not
really a preference. And again, if you’re just an introvert, you will choose to
leave a party, because you WANT TO leave it, because you’re tired of human
interaction, and you need to go home and refuel. Now, when you’re socially anxious,
you will choose to leave the party, because you’re terrified you’re scared
of human interaction, not just tired of it. With introversion, you often don’t
speak in front of others, because – again – it’s a
preference. You would rather sit back and just listen and chill. But if you
actually want to join the convo, nothing will stop you from doing it. With social
anxiety, you never speak up, because the fear of saying something stupid holds
you back. To sum up, with introversion you don’t
really have any negative thought patterns. There is no overthinking. And
with social anxiety, there are plenty of those. Introversion is a character trait.
It’s something you’re born with. Social anxiety on the other hand, is made. It’s made through upbringing, through traumatic events, through cognitive
distortions and very often through a life of avoidance where you avoid social
situations, you don’t really put yourself out there… And the social anxiety
monster seems to be a little bit scarier than it actually is… Because you have no
experience in tackling social situations. To end this video I want to describe
what’s it like to be a shy, socially anxious introvert. A deadly mix… Because I feel like not many people understand how we work. These people never talk first. They don’t talk much. Even with their friends, when they don’t get a reply, they
instantly judge themselves and they instantly back out, because they don’t
want to be a burden. Yes, even to their friends. They generally prefer to
listen and they get tired when they are around people for too long. They enjoy
being alone, but as I’ve said before, alone can turn into lonely pretty fast. On
the other hand, if they truly feel comfortable around someone, they will
open up, but only to a certain extent. Because… unfortunately, it turns out that
most people don’t really listen. They just wait for their turn to speak so they don’t really see the point of sharing anything,
because the conversation would be one-sided anyway. They let people in very rarely, but when that wall finally comes down,
they are totally different than what they seem at first glance. Unfortunately, they usually come off as quiet, rude or uninterested, but that’s not who they
really are. They wear all the good stuff on the inside and it takes a lot of time
to open up to someone. And most times, in the end, they never fully do, because not many people have the patience to fight through the initial apparent coldness.
Which is sad, by the way, because socially anxious introverts lead incredibly rich
and interesting inner lives and the world is missing out on all that honey,
since it’s not well-suited for those who bloom slow. So yeah, that’s it for today’s
video. I’m pretty sure I didn’t really cover the whole topic, so if there’s
anything you like to add, feel free to do it in the comments below… And yeah, thank you for watching. Remember you can follow me on Instagram. And I will see you in my
next video. Bye!

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100 thoughts on “SOCIAL ANXIETY EXPLAINED: sad vs. shyness vs. introversion”

  • I don't know if my validation matters, but I'm realizing that I might have socal anxiety and most of the time I spend time imagining myself talking to people rather than actually talking to them and when I get the courage to talk to anyone I end up getting either rejected or insulted for thinking I can easily make a friend who I forgot is a jerk

  • U can’t continue like this. I just feel the weirdo of every place I go to. I can’t maintain a friendship because I think that I’m boring for the other person and it’s just exhausting.
    I wish I was more social, but when I try it I just want to go to a place where u can be alone.

  • I was also offered a dream job abroad and I was very happy until I had a terrible panic attack. So I had to withdraw my application to that position. Now I don't have a job and I don't have money for therapy to cure my anxiety.

  • I am a 62 yo guy and have had social anxiety since I started school, I hate being watched doing a task and speaking in front of a crowd or even walking into a crowded room where everyone is seated

  • I find it so difficult to join in a conversation. Sometimes I like to join others in conversation especially if it’s something I can relate to or maybe contribute something in a meeting but just the thought of speaking up makes me nervous my heartbeat goes fast and my mind goes blank . I take ever so long to structure my sentences that by the time I am ready to say something people have moved on to something else and then there is no point in saying anything 😔

  • I think I am an ambivert. That is a mixture between extrovert and introvert. I crave social interaction but when being in them for too long I feel drained and tired, like u said. And I value my alone time but need social interaction after a while. I definitely have social anxiety. With some people more than others. With some people I feel comfortable and maybe shy at times but it goes away after getting used to the person. Other times I feel incredibly socially anxious and I will avoid the situation at all costs. But for some reason public speaking is not hard for me. When I get the chance, sometimes I like being the center of attention. I need to become more brave and defeat my social anxiety.

  • Idk if I have social anxiety, but lately I’ve been quite around my friends because I feel like they will judge me or won’t listen and that makes me feel dumb. Also I can’t talk to a person when it’s just me and them. My friend knows that. She left me on Xbox with someone and I panicked and left. I cried sjskjcnwkw. But I hate clicking the computer pad during class. And eating in front of people. I also over analyse sooo much. I pretend I’m sick all the time because if something happened on Friday, I can’t live with facing people at school. It only works on mondays though.

  • "be a shy, socially anxious introvert"
    yeah, that's me
    after she described me and i dind't event knwo that someone could be a mix of them, i always thought i had to be shy or introvert or socially anxious

    i think i'll show this video to who don't understand how i am and how i feel everytime, even if i'm not sure they'll understand
    but at least, i can say i tried

  • I want to talk but I’m scared if they didn’t interested of what I’m gonna said and I’m scared if the conversation gonna be awkward..

  • Social anxiety ? Anxiety coming from society?
    Anxiety from society that hurt sensitive people?
    Or is it anxiety from socializing for the reason of?

  • I want friends who are shy, introverted or have social anxiety, I really relate to them. I'd like to have someone to be quiet with or talk about anything.
    If only friend-making was easy for all of us.

  • I always thought that this problem was with me only and people used to tell me to stop overreacting and overthinking.. Now i understand

  • Holy shit I just watched a video on Fire Walk with me before watching this video and I see a photo of Laura in the background wow what a coincidence the universe is telling me something

  • I used to think social anxiety and introverted was the same but I guess not ,I always suffered from social anxiety

  • I try to overcome my social anxiety and do things that I am afraid of. I learned to not pay attention to my heart beating so fast, to my hands trembling. But often I just start crying when I force myself to do public speaking. It's impossible to calm down fast so I take my time. Even though I try my best, watching people react to me with disgust and laugh really puts me down. Then at home I try my best to think that it's not my fault that I cry so much, that it's all my social anxiety, people who don't have it, it's just hard for them to understand. But it's so hard to feel okay when everyone just show that you're not normal, like there's something wrong with you. That just makes me want to get rid of social anxiety even more, but the more I resist it the harder it gets.

  • No one else has ever explained Social Anxiety so well as you have. The "writing down entire sentences before a phone call" thing is exactly what I do. Didn't know others also do it.

  • Your spectrum perfectly explains and differentiates what might make us feel socially anxious and what actually is social anxiety. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • I think I m both socially anxious and an introvert. I'm not 100% sure that i m a shy person though, maybe just mildly.

  • Omgosh GIRL, thank you so much for doing this!! I don't usually comment on anything socially but I've been trying to push myself lately. Everything you went over about social anxiety was uncannily similar to my day to day. You are so right about that untapped honey. This has been my longest comment.

  • 13:05 tell this to my friend who says she also has mental issues but never give me a chance to speak or listen and just wait for her turn and wont care about what i said

  • Me simply walking on the street :
    My brain: ew why are walking weird, people are probably judging you so hard, stop moving your arms too much, stop playing with your fingers that's weird, don't you dare make eye contact with anyone

  • I'm not sure but ,if anyone else needs to find out about how to cure shyness naturally try Wiltapar Simple Shyness Secrets (do a search on google ) ? Ive heard some unbelievable things about it and my mate got amazing success with it.

  • Yep that's me :/ … and when you said that 'when you say something and other people don't reply you immediately start judging yourself' I can totally relate to

  • I relate to most/some things of everything (shyness, social anxiety, introvert) and I'm also really scared when I'm alone in crowds, I'm scared of what people might think about my hair,clothes and the way I walk and how they would look at me. And I'm always about to cry. And I also don't really feel safe when my friends are around. In school I bite my nails, push my sleeves up to my hands, whip with me foot, bite my lip or play with a pen, just because I need that, I have to do that and when I don't do that I can get really/more nervous. I usually don't go to Birthday partys because I'm scared of the people that I don't know.
    Idk what to do and I'm probably overreacting at this point, but i really just need to hear some opinions from others.

  • Appreciate this vid so much.

    I’ve had social anxiety for several years. I used to throw up before an event or while I was there! Awful symptoms!

  • And I realise that for my whole life people have been trying to categorise me as "shy" "socially awkward" or "introverted" and they told me to "chill down and stop bothering about what others think"… They don't understand the extend at which sad is uncontrolable and affects your life. This thing is poison.

  • How about mind ya business and if some ppl like to avoid people and enjoy being private howbbout yiubppl accept some ppl are like that and there is no need for other ppl to try and change ppl FUCK OFF
    PEOPLE ARE DIFFERENT! WHY CHANGE THEM – MIND YA BIZ

  • I have a fear of going out in the daylight. Fear of running into someone I know. I had a job for 12 years, working every day throughout the summer. I was upset I rarely got time to enjoy days during the summer. Now I have free time, but I’m afraid to go out and I feel guilty doing it.

  • There’s no one thing that causes social anxiety disorder. Genetics likely has something to do with it: If you have a family member with social phobia, you’re more at risk of having it, too. It could also be linked to having an overactive amygdala — the part of the brain that controls your fear response.

  • Only difference between introversion and anxious is accepting. They bout feel just the same, only deference is that introvert accept himself and dont care what other people think

  • Wow, your stunning! I believe your the pill I have been missing. Lets get a coffee sometime, and suffer social anxiety together?

  • When you have a crush, but you are too scared to talk to him
    That's my life story of why i've never had a boyfriend

  • used to sweat like a water fall by just talking to people, it was like a self feeding loop where the sweating triggered even more sweating since my fear was that people would see that I was sweating. Took me 3 years to get over the fear and stop the sweating.

  • I feel like an extrovert with SAD is worse than an introvert with SAD. An extrovert recharges by socializing, but that’s exhausting because he’s constantly anxious about it. An introvert likes to be alone, or at least likes it way more than an extrovert. So imo, the deadly mix is shy, extroverted and social anxiety.

  • You are so articulate and I love your explanation of social anxiety. My daughter suffers from SA and I am going to recommend she watches your videos.

  • You are normal . Dont think about the others , think about you . Think about people who suffer or handicap but brave soul . Dont put pressure on you . Dont try to be perfect , be just honest . Other people are exactly like you , and feel like you too . I am a men of 52 , and i can tell you this , i live the same thing when i was young . Now i know . Take things with a smile . Fail or success , be yourself . Have a nice day !

  • I came in very skeptical that you'd describe all of my symptoms since there is such a wide spectrum, but you literally addressed everything I deal with on a daily basis. Makes you realize we really are just part of a group whose over analysis often times leads to many wrong conclusions about the situations we are avoiding or are encountering.

  • People try convince you to be a part of the rest of the world. It's like everybody is missing me and I'm turning them down. Why to lie to help someone? I want to get rid of my anxiety despite of people. I want to have the right to choose if I want to be a part of a society or not. Not having anxiety doesn't mean to go about people and to be friendly. You can still choose to be a grumpy. And the other thing they say to help anxious people is we are missing a lot of opportunities in life. It's like we're waiting to get over this disorder and start to change the world and to have all opportunities we can. Fuck the world and fuck the opportunities. I want to live my life at the bottom of normality. I want to be healthy and grumpy person. Fuck being social and fuck having opportunities.

  • Kat, do these videos help you?
    I personally think (ironically) social media seems to be making people socially awkward in face to face meetings.

  • I don’t think I have social anxiety but I feel like I’m always being judged no matter the situation and place. Whenever I hear someone laugh, I automatically think it’s me who’s being talked about.

  • I'm 34 years old and have suffered from social anxiety since i was around 10 years old. My social anxiety stops me from keeping any job. There are so many things I can't do. Sometimes it feels like I'm alive inside my own tomb. I am lucky I finally have a boyfriend and 1,5 years ago we had a daughter together. Now I don't feel so lonely anymore:) So atleast one of my dreams came true. Still hoping to thrive in a job situation one day. Don't stop dreaming even how bad the situation may look!! <3

  • After watching this I don't think I have social anxiety but I do scare people to judge me, My hands got cold and my leg is shaking when I have a presentation, I imagine conversation in my head. The only difference is that I don't write all that conversation on a paper

  • I love this video! I have a 14 yo daughter with social anxiety and she is all of this. Amazing, talented, thoughtful. But so hard on herself and has a hard time with friendships. We have her in therapy but it's hard for me (an ambivert -with slight social anxiety) to remember that every moment outside our home is a struggle for her. Thanks for your video.

  • Wow! If someone as pretty as you has social anxiety then this is living testament to the fact the anxious mind is totally irrational and shapes your life entirely. Great explanation of this illness Kat! I have suffered health anxiety for many years and it has affected my life a lot so i can really relate to this as i have elements of social anxiety too.

  • my dad is shy and thinks I'm just shy like him but I know I have self anxiety like I cry whenever someone talks to me or I literally run away or hide

  • I think i might have social anxiety or just anxiety in general but i don’t know how to tell my parents and even if i did i don’t think we can afford a psychologist 🙁

  • the thing is i sometimes get used to doing something after a few times i do it but everytime i end up over analyzing everything i did when it ends, im confused

  • what happens to me is that i care SO much about what people think of me or how i act that i rather stay i an situation im not comfortable in than leave or do something that could draw attention to me

  • This wonderfully crafted video with in-depth explanation made me instantly subscribe to this channel. Thank you Ms. Kat Napiorkowska for your time and effort to create such wonderful content. There is a lot to learn by following your channel. Thank you for this wonderful video.

  • What should I do? I can't accept a job because my social an. I'm worried and I don't want to go far away from my family city 💔

  • The pain it causes when you realise people think you are just plain rude when you can't talk like a social butterfly. I grew up with my own parents always calling me anti social but it was agony to talk to anyone I didn't know well. Don't even get me started on the difficulty of making eye contact with people. It's so awkward and the 'analysis paralysis' in your head just makes it worse! 😣

  • I confused social anxiety with low confidence for years!!! Which made everything worse! Maybe they really are related..

  • I used to be normal, suddenly i developed a severe social anxiety… watching this made me realize it's been there all the time since childhood but not too severe… now i startshaking whenever i start i talk to people, even friends…