Riverdale star Lili Reinhart has battled it. So have actresses Jennifer Lawrence and Olivia Munn, and even singer Adele. We’re talking about social anxiety – a condition in which people feel intense anxiety and distress about interacting with others in unfamiliar social situations.
Psychologist Christina Gonzalez, of Alliance Counselling in Singapore, says people with social anxiety are not necessarily introverts, or shy. Introverts avoid social events because they don’t feel like going. People with social anxiety do so because they worry about being judged and evaluated by others.
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How to know you might have it: Do you find that you’re excessively and unreasonably anxious in social situations? Before an event, do you obsess over what might happen for days? When in uncomfortable situations, do you feel your heart racing, your muscles tighten, and that you have trouble breathing?
Even if the answers are yes, the good news is, you don’t have to live with it. Here are some tips on how to overcome the discomfort: