Without any shadow of a doubt one the most irritating pieces of advice for social anxiety is that you must do and go to everything and never turn an invitation down and then when you do go somewhere and act shy or anxious people still criticise you. Someone said on the forum that they were criticised for not dancing at a club or even going to a pub or club alone. I’ve heard men criticised for not talking to girls and then when they try, not saying the right things, having a weak voice, blushing, acting awkward etc. They are criticised for standing around and not making an effort to mix, in fact not being normal from the off.
This of course is the very reason so many socially anxious people stay avoidant and dont go to places any more as they fear looking different and being ridiculed. Then if they are already thought of as no fun, boring, a bit weird no one wants to befriend them or go out with them anyway so rather than get better they get worse as they are isolated from any social groups and have no way back in.When you do try on a good day when you feel confident for a change people reject you as they have already classified you as weird or not good enough so your confidence is sent back to rock bottom. Bearing this in mind I dont really understand the insistence still on so many self help forums that continuous social exposure will make you better. Then the idea that if you get worse its somehow your fault for not pushing yourself enough seems to totally ignore that failure and ridicule in social situations are the very reasons you get worse. The idea that no matter how bad your anxiety is you just keep doing things and then improve is absolutely complete bollocks as every time you have a negative experience you totally relapse again.
Oh and Theresa May, how great to go on about mental health and raising awareness. Perhaps loads more people will now go to their doctors for help and find that they are actually vastly overworked, underfunded and that most doctors have no idea how to help. Have some tablets, have a few weeks in group therapy after a 6 month wait if you are lucky to even get offered therapy and then f**k off and dont come back. The only thing that can improve mental health services is vastly more money.