More advice from the wonderful world of the internet somebody posted the other day.
The other piece of advice is, of course, to practice speaking up. And practice always means allowing yourself do something badly until you can do it not so badly.
But of course doing it badly creates ridicule and contempt and means people avoid you in future. if they dont perhaps you are simply lucky or you just have minor shyness rather than chronic SA with the blushing and stammering etc. This of course makes you even more avoidant. If you could talk badly and not care what people thought you would not have anxiety in the first place so it’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation. It also assumes you get better at it when many people with severe SA get worse, blush even more, stutter even more feel sick even more and get ridiculed and avoided even more.
Whenever you give in to a fear, it grows. Whenever you act in spite of it, it shrinks.
Again not actually true. Most advice assumes all fear relating to anxiety is irrational. As if you are treating social occasions like sitting in a cage with a lion which could kill you at any moment. They assume that if you keep doing something that doesn’t cause physical pain then you get used to it and get better. Yet many people have been traumatised by words and ridicule without any physical pain or harm. So if you keep doing things that create humiliation then you dont get better and you might even get worse. If doing something over and over again helped then surely using an internet social anxiety forum for over 10 years would have helped me and instead I feel like an outsider and disliked and it often makes me feel worse as I never feel accepted and so I never get better or learn. This is the very reason people become avoidant in so many life situations.The counterclaim to this was to act far more proactive which really meant not acting shy at all and being normal so they expect you to act completely normal in the first place in order to succeed. So you dont learn at all by mistakes and this of course is exactly the same in real life. Act nervous and awkward just once and you are ostracised for life.
People going to a meet or even on a date expect someone funny or interesting and with a good personality the very first time they meet you and if you are not up to it they will never want to meet you again so not only do you not learn from mistakes and get better you became even more paranoid and anxious and avoidant.Nearly all advice also ignores physical manifestations of chronic shyness like blushing and stammering and sweating or a weak voice which makes other people incredibly awkward and avoid you in future. People with chronic S.A. are hard work, they are not great company.
I even completed a shyness test on the Shyness clinic website the other night just to see what their free, introductory evaluation. would actually consist of. Despite a section for completing which country you come from and even which county in the UK the reply said you have to go in person to London every week and if you can’t then just piss off. Some detailed evaluation, some help!