Until I used hypnotherapy to overcome it, social anxiety was a very big issue for me, a fear of blushing (erythrophobia) was a major problem that I suffered with and I was very concerned with how other people perceived me. I had many insecurities and I would get very anxious in social situations, my palms would sweat and I would often blush profusely. The more I became aware of these problems the more I would feel embarrassed about and try to stop them, this caused even more anxiety which made the issues much worse. As I am always saying to my clients and workshop attendees, “what resists not only persists but becomes stronger.”
How Social Anxiety Affected Me?
My social anxiety caused me to suffer in all kinds of ways. Because of social anxiety I didn’t like meeting new people and this led to a reduced social circle. It affected my work. I couldn’t keep a job and went through countless jobs after I got thrown out of college. I ended up working in telesales and believe it or not sales roles where the only jobs I could keep, when you work in sales it’s all about meeting targets and making the company money, I found as long as I was performing in my role my bosses didn’t care how weirdly I acted and this was good because my behaviour used to be pretty weird most of the time.
Sales also gave me an external focus and so got me out of my head. When I was on a call I was focused on what the customer was saying and thinking about how I could get them to buy my product. I wasn’t thinking about how I was feeling, what they thought of me or worrying whether or not I would blush.
I managed to be a bit more successful at keeping sales jobs but social anxiety definitely reduced my career prospects. Anxiety caused me to develop all kinds of “idiosyncrasies” as one boss called them. I used the “idiosyncrasies” as a way to try and soothe myself. Anxiety definitely stopped me being taken seriously by my employers and it prevented me from being promoted.
I was pretty good the first time I met someone, I could put on a front and often seem very charismatic and charming but after I met them I would go into my head wondering how they perceived me, if they liked me, if they thought I was weird and if I met them again I would be a mess. I couldn’t keep a relationship partly because of my anxiety and partly because of other issues that I mention in the post, why I had to heal my inner child. My reduced social circle, dislike of meeting new people, dislike of people in general and insecurities meant I got married far too young and this led to a nasty divorce I speak more about this in other posts on my blog.
What Causes Social Anxiety?
Growing up in an extremely dysfunctional family around very narcissistic individuals is what caused my anxiety. When we are children our neuroplasticity is at its highest and we are looking to the adults around us to help us understand the world and ourselves.
Descent People Deal With Their Issues, Cowards Project Them Onto Everyone Else.
A small child is a very easy target for such cowards but I have let go of my anger towards them. They are clearly very damaged themselves, abuse and trauma are often generational. Repetition compulsion says, what we don’t heal we either reenact on others or find new people to reenact on us. When we are babies we look to our parents to help us coregulate our emotions.
I speak more about my childhood and how it affected me in other posts on my blog. Some people attribute their social anxiety to being bullied at school or feeling like they don’t fit in for some other reason. In my experience of anxiety and helping other people to overcome it there is always a traumatic event or events which cause the problem. These events don’t have to be major or life threatening incidents, especially if they happen in childhood when our neuroplasticity is at its highest.
How Can Hypnotherapy Work For Social Anxiety?
When I work with a client my first question is when the issue started and what was happening at the time, was there any particularly traumatic event such as an attack, breakup or accident. If there was a trauma my first step would be to remove any negative emotion from that memory. I discuss how we do this in my post. Is hypnotherapy dangerous for trauma sufferers?
Traumatic memories carry more emotional charge than ordinary memories so we can avoid such trauma in the future and it would be a useful feature that kept us alive in prehistoric times but in the modern world it can hinder us in many ways and cause all sorts of anxiety. As I say in the above mentioned post we can remove emotional charge from negative memories without having to relive those memories.
If a client tells me that they grew up with dysfunction or were repeatedly bullied in school I would recommend they do the inner child program the purpose of the program is to make the inner child feel safe, loved and accepted. Most people grow up with some form of dysfunction and so could benefit from inner child healing whether they have social anxiety or not.
If the client can’t remember or doesn’t want to address any specific trauma we can still use hypnosis to reduce their social anxiety, the mind cannot tell the difference between a real or imagined event and it has actually been proven that visualising ourselves the way we want to be creates new neural pathways in the brain and we can start to behave that way. Visualisation is so powerful I would have the client visualise themselves feeling calm and confident in the social situations that bothered them before whatever the cause of their social anxiety.