Take the #1 Social anxiety test
If you are here today, reading my post is because you think you have social anxiety. I had issues with this disorder myself in the past, and I’m happy to allow you to have a clear view of this topic doing this social anxiety test. You have to know before starting that this is not an exact science and that no two persons are the same.
Social anxiety test
Let’s start by reading each of the following situations and imagine you’re in it right now. Take your time. There is no need to keep a score or to write anything down during this social anxiety test:
The purpose of this test is to feel for yourself when you would start feeling anxious.
A. When talking to somebody you look the person in the eyes and talk intimately, you look in the eyes while talking but you like to leave some space, too much eye contact makes you feel uncomfortable, you always avoid eye contact, each time you speak to someone you start blushing.
B. You feel uncomfortable when you talk in front of an audience, the guy on the bus next to you starts talking to you, you speak with the girl you sometimes see at the mall, you talk with friends in your living room, you talk with your family.
C. You dislike the idea of waiting in line to enter a cinema, enter a crowded cinema, sitting in a crowded cinema during the movie, thinking about going to the cinema.
D. You have difficulties to… stand up for yourself, expressing another opinion, interrupt a conversation, be open in a conversation, you agree to somebody.
E. It’s unusually hot in the bus today, and you start sweating: you know it’s normal and you don’t care, you are feeling uncomfortable, you get out of the bus to take a breath, you focus on it and start blushing and sweating heavily, you feel heavy stress and start having trouble breathing.
F. You only drink on special occasions, you occasionally drink with friends, you drink at home to relax now and then, you drink every time you are in a social environment, you drink before leaving your house.
G. You hate the idea of… being in a crowded mall, walking in a crowded street, being in a traffic jam, being at home with some friends, walking around in your neighborhood.
H. You avoid eating alone in a crowded restaurant, eating with friends in a crowded restaurant, having a drink with your best friend at your local bar, eating with family in your local restaurant.
I. You would be worried about… getting mad with a stranger about an issue, getting angry with your boss about something you disagree with, getting angry with your brother during a family dispute, giving your opinion during a phone call, giving your opinion during family dinner.
J. You’re stressed when… having a job interview, reading a few words during a funeral, working at a busy mall, attending a birthday party with your siblings, meeting your best friend at a bar.
K. You have plenty of friends, you have a close group of friends, you see some friends regularly, you have social interaction mostly with your siblings, all your friends are on Facebook, you are alone most of the time.
L. You feel uncomfortable when… you attend the marriage of a colleague where you know nobody, you attend the wedding of a friend and you don’t know the family of the bride, you attend the marriage of your brother and the party is at your parents’ house, you think about attending a wedding next week.
M. You hate the idea… of breaking a bottle in front of everybody at the mall, entering a crowded mall, going to your local grocery store, getting gas at the gas station.
N. You worry a lot when… you get a bad evaluation at work in front of everybody, you’re getting an unfortunate remark in front of your friends, you get an adverse comment from your mother sitting in your living room with your family, your mother gives you a bad remark in private.
O. You would not feel comfortable talking to the President, talking to a police officer, talking to your boss, talking to a colleague, talking to your father.
P. You feel sad now and then, some days you can feel lonely and this makes you sad, you’re often unhappy, you’re in a permanent state of sadness.
Q. You avoid… talking with strangers in a meeting, talking with a person you just met, being invited at your friend’s house and chatting with people you don’t know well, talking with your colleague at the cafeteria, talking with some friends at home.
R. You’re stressed when… reading out loud in front of a crowd, reading out loud in front of your reader’s club, asking the librarian for advice, being alone at the library.
So, this social anxiety test is done. You took some time to put yourself in each of these situations, and you felt how your body reacted imagining yourself involved in each of these interactions. Let’s create a clear view now. If during this social anxiety test you didn’t pick one of the two last answers as being the most related to the situation where you would start to feel anxious or as being significative to your state of mind then you can stop reading now because you are not dealing with a social anxiety disorder.
For the ones who picked one of the two last answers more than 1/3 of the time taking this social anxiety test, do not panic, you’re not alone dealing with a social anxiety disorder. Let’s analyze this social anxiety test first; on purpose, this test is not a test with hidden answers, and this test has a specific order. The situations go from typical situations where the majority of people would react negatively or feel some degree of stress in this situation to more particular circumstances. The two last answers are answers that refer to reactions, conditions, or feelings that fall outside of the norm, so they point out a disorder.
Analyzing social anxiety
Let’s be constructive here and start by analyzing what anxiety is. Anxiety goes back to a mechanism of defense that has been really useful for humans during our evolution. It’s a mechanism that enabled us to do that little extra that we had to do to save our lives when we faced great danger.
On the other hand, what does the word social mean? This word refers to the society, you, me, and all the people around us. It also refers to all the (conscious and unconscious) interactions that happen between people. Knowing that humans are social creatures, you will have to face that even if you feel anxious about social interactions right now, you will not be able to avoid them for the rest of your life. On the other hand, the good news is that I can help you understand this social anxiety and deal with it, so stay focused.
I already hear you think, how are we going to do this? Well, it’s quite simple. We are going to use the most excellent tool that humans have: our brains. You will use this to achieve the highest goal we can achieve: knowledge. Knowledge will give you the weapons to fight back against this irrational threat.
The first step will be the understanding of the issue we are facing here: Why social interaction makes you anxious? It’s straightforward. As you already know, we are social creatures, and social acceptation is one of the most critical issues we have to face to survive. So everybody would like to look great in front of others. This started with the first steps you took as a kid and will end with the final blessing you will get when you die… This gives a load of pressure.
The majority of people want to look good in front of others but is self-aware and has a healthy dose of self-esteem. So they can relativize when they face uncomfortable social situations, and they don’t worry too much about what other people think about them.
Now, more sensitive people, like you and me, are known to be perfectionists and we want to have control over our interactions. So we tend to overemphasize bad experiences, worry a lot about situations we can’t control. We also tend to feel bad and guilty when things go wrong. Important to face right now is that you will never be able to control social interactions, and you will never be able to control the way they work. What you can change, on the other hand, is your mindset and the way you react to social situations.
Here the anxiety part comes in. Anxiety is a reaction to an irrational, inexistent treat. When a caveman had to run to survive, he was happy to have that extra drive. You, on the other hand, are not happy when you start blushing when you speak with the girl next door. The only solution you have to overcome this by yourself is to become an autodidact. You have to educate yourself about the topic and understand it thoroughly so that you have control over what is happening to you thanks to this knowledge.
To change the subconscious manner in which your brain reacts now, it will be vital that you break this vicious circle and start noticing that this social threat is unreal. How do we do this? We need to do exposure therapy and doing the tasks step by step. Before you know, you will be your old self again.
I’ll continue posting on this topic, and I thank you a lot for taking this social anxiety test.
The healing process is not a sprint, this is a journey, and you just took the first step. Congratulations!
If after taking the social anxiety test you need more information about Social Anxiety, check out the NHS website, or join the Social Anxiety U.K. Chatroom to talk to someone or login to Social Anxiety U.K. forum to share your experience.
Remember, you are not alone.