Benefits Of Social Anxiety That Make You Sabotage Your Own Efforts Of Overcoming It - Social Anxiety Advice

Benefits Of Social Anxiety That Make You Sabotage Your Own Efforts Of Overcoming It

Many people would not agree with me but I’m really right on this one. Having social anxiety disorder gives you some particular benefits that make you sabotage your own effort of overcoming it.

Usually, people who suffer from social anxiety say that it gives them no benefits. They say that it only makes them hurt because it keeps them away from living their life. It prevents them from forming new friendships and relationships.

It prevents them from having a meaningful job.

And in a way they are right. Social anxiety really does that to you.

But if you look closer at this problem you can see that these are actually the benefits that you’re receiving for having your anxiety.

Now how can not having a meaningful and well-paid job be a benefit?

How can having no friends be beneficial?

How can having no one special in your life be a benefit?

Well, let me explain this a little a bit better.

You have your social anxiety for a reason.

You have it because it protects you from getting hurt.

It protects you from getting embarrassed, rejected, judged, and looked down upon, ridiculed and heart-broken.

Your social anxiety doesn’t want you to get hurt in any shape or form.

It’s just your survival mechanism being in overdrive.

Instead of just warning you about life-threatening situations, your survival mechanism also warns you about social situations because it perceives them as dangerous.

Your subconscious believes that these situations are dangerous for your well-being and that’s why you have your anxiety.

You have it because it protects you.

And this is the benefit it gives you.

The benefit is in you not getting emotionally hurt.

That’s why not having friends is beneficial to you right now.

You see, when you don’t have friends, you don’t have to perform at your best. You don’t have to impress them. You don’t have to make them laugh. And you don’t have to work on strengthening these relationships.

You don’t have to spend your time on your friends and this gives you freedom to do something else. It gives you a lot of free time.

But most importantly, your social phobia protects you from getting rejected by people you like… getting rejected by your friends.

And it’s exactly the same with relationships.

Your social anxiety keeps you away from dating.

It keeps you away from putting your best foot forward and impressing the one that you like.

Your social anxiety prevents you from saying things like, “I love you!”

Why?

Because it wants to keep you emotionally unhurt.

It wants to protect you from being rejected by the person you love and that is a huge benefit to your subconscious mind.

Now what about work anxiety?

Why do you get anxious at work? Why does your social anxiety make you behave in a way that makes it practically impossible to get a promotion and a bigger paycheck?

Well, the answer is already well known. Your subconscious wants to protect you and therefore makes its best effort to prevent you from doing things that could potentially get you in trouble.

It doesn’t want you to get rejected so it prevents you from asking for a raise.

It doesn’t want you to be under too much pressure so it prevents you from taking jobs that require you to step out of your comfort zone.

Your subconscious wants you to have a safe job. It wants you to do things where expectations are low.

You see, when expectations are low, it’s easy for you to meet these expectations.

And it’s hard to disappoint your boss when you meet his or her expectations, right?!

Consequently, your boss doesn’t disapprove of you and you don’t get hurt.

Your anxiety protects you and that is the benefit that makes it so hard to overcome it.

Every time you avoid or escape from a social situation your subconscious feels a small victory.

Even when you feel bad about yourself for not doing something that you wanted to do, your subconscious still feels like a winner.

Why?

Well, your subconscious just managed to protect you from getting hurt and that’s its main goal.

It’s kind of logical that it feels this way.

But unfortunately this only reinforces the belief that social situations aren’t safe.

It reinforces the biggest limiting belief that is responsible for you having social anxiety in the first place.

You see, if your subconscious mind believed that social events aren’t dangerous, it wouldn’t have to fire the fight-flight-freeze response that manifests itself in the form of social anxiety symptoms.

As long as your subconscious sees the benefits in avoidant behaviour it won’t let go of your social anxiety.

No matter how much you consciously disagree with it, you can’t win this way.

You can’t overcome social anxiety disorder with your willpower alone because your subconscious is much too strong and the benefits it gets are just too important.

That’s why exposure therapy rarely works.

In fact, it can even be detrimental.

You see, when you go out there with a purpose to challenge your social fears, you basically expose yourself to danger… at least that’s what your subconscious mind believes.

Consequently, your survival mechanism kicks in and fires the fight-flight-freeze respond that warns you about danger.

This makes your anxiety go through the roof.

Now you only have two options.

You can either stay in that situation or flee.

Staying in this situation is hard and sometimes almost impossible because your subconscious desperately wants you to remove yourself from that situation.

Obviously, our conscious mind isn’t strong enough to fight this force.

You can muster enough willpower to do it once or twice, but you can’t do it all the time. You just can’t pump yourself up to expose yourself to social situations every day without experiencing one bad event that throws you back at square one.

Unfortunately, this makes your anxiety even worse because you’ve just got a confirmation that you can’t do it.

Your self-esteem gets another bruise and this gets it even harder to gather enough willpower to continue your fight against social anxiety.

Here’s What You Should Do Instead

The only way to successfully overcome social anxiety is to stop resisting it in the first place.

Stop fighting your subconscious because you can’t win this war.

You got to get your subconscious to peacefully agree with your conscious mind that being socially confident is good for you.

And you need it to agree that social situations are perfectly safe.

But how do you achieve that?

How do you get your subconscious to agree?

Well, most people who suffer from social anxiety disorder have certain limiting beliefs that need to be addressed and neutralized.

They need to be challenged and reframed in a proper way.

Now, on my journey to overcoming social anxiety I had discovered that EFT and reframing work best.

The process is simple but it requires you to identify all your limiting beliefs that make you socially anxious first.

So, it’s a process that takes some time. I’m not talking years here. Depending on how sever your social anxiety is, you can even do it in a month.

But you got to be proactive because it won’t happen by itself since your subconscious is perfectly fine and satisfied with having this great survival mechanism called social anxiety.

Now if you’d like to know more on how to overcome social anxiety, subscribe to my free newsletter, where you’ll get more details on how to do it.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments
Jeannine

I think that social anxiety has made me a better person. I have more empathy for others. I’m kind, sensitive and introspective. I believe these are my benefits. Social anxiety makes me a better person.

Reply
    Andre Sossi

    Hey Jeannine! Just a thought… Do you think that now that you’re a better person you could let go of your anxiety and still be a good person? Would it be possible for you to keep these benefits and get rid of your social anxiety at the same time?

    Reply
Martin

Great episode, especially the bit about exposure therapy & setbacks. But how do you train your subconscious mind to not perceive social situations as dangerous? – can you explain in more detail the part about challenging beliefs and re-framing?
I’m very dubious about ETF other than as a diversion for your mind, but will give it a go.

Reply
    Andre Sossi

    Hey Martin, thanks for your comment. I’ll do my best and try to answer your questions.

    I’ve discovered re-framing while studying Neuro-Linguistic Programing and the point of reframing is that it helps you view things from a different perspective. However, it’s nothing like affirmations. You see, affirmations are basically sentences that you would want to believe. Affirmations are statements about who you want to be. And the problem with affirmations is that they don’t fit in your current reality and understanding of this world. They are the complete opposite of what you believe right now and therefore your subconscious doesn’t perceive them as real. Consequently, they don’t work.

    On the other hand, reframing offers an option or possibility that might actually be true and since it’s presented as a different perspective that could be possible, your subconscious takes this “new reality” in consideration. It doesn’t dismiss it like it dismisses affirmations.

    And you’ve got different kind of reframes which gives you a better chance that one will be accepted and when this happens, you have this “a-ha” movement when you have a new realization. This “shakes” the legs of your limiting beliefs and gives you a chance to replace these beliefs with better ones that don’t trigger your anxiety anymore.

    You see, your subconscious mind triggers the fight-flight-freeze response when you find yourself in a social situation that it perceives as dangerous and it perceives it as such because of the “limiting” beliefs you have right now. So challenging these beliefs in the right way takes away their power and consequently your subconscious doesn’t perceive these situations as dangerous anymore.

    Reframing is just one way to go about challenging your beliefs.

    The other way is EFT and it becomes even more effective when it’s coupled with reframing. Here I’ve written a bit more about how it works:

    https://socialanxietyadvice.com/overcoming-social-anxiety/

    What made me try EFT is that it’s so different to anything else that I had tried before.

    The thing is that it’s far from being a diversion like you might have thought. A diversion would be if it helped you change your focus away from the problems and consequently made you feel better because of it. But the problem would stay unsolved and you would feel bad or even worse the next time you’d find yourself in a similar situation.

    You see, EFT does just the opposite. In order for it to work you actually need to tune in into the problem. You need to feel the anxiety. You need to feel the discomfort. Because EFT or tapping works on correcting the energy imbalance in your system. Similarly, medications try to correct the chemical imbalance that seems to happen when you’re all anxious. So basically, EFT tries to do the same, just in a natural way. And unlike medications, EFT has long-term results.

    It’s simple and complex at the same time. It’s simple because it’s simple to use the technique and it’s complex because you have to discover the limiting beliefs that cause your social anxiety and you need to work on eliminating them one by one. Once those beliefs no longer have the power over you, your subconscious feels safe and the anxiety is gone.

    You can learn a lot about EFT for free right here:

    https://socialanxietyadvice.com/emofree

    This is where the author basically gives you the technique and teaches you how to do it. If you have the time I’d encourage you to go check it out.

    The only bad thing about that website is that it gives you a general overview but doesn’t show you how to specifically work on social anxiety. However, if you study the author’s materials closely and you give it enough time and energy, you can create your own “plan of attack”.

    If you don’t have the time or willpower to go through all the articles and compile your own plan for overcoming social anxiety, I recommend you to check out this online course that is specifically about overcoming social anxiety disorder and it uses EFT as a method for overcoming it.

    https://socialanxietyadvice.com/scs

    I highly recommend it.

    Martin, I hope that this was helpful to you 🙂

    Andre

    Reply

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