July 31, 2012 9:39 AM Subscribe
I know intellectually that I shouldn't worry so much about people judging me, yet my mind still goes there. Any advice/tips?
I made a move to a new area/job about a year and a half ago, and some social anxiety flared up and got pretty bad for a while. I'm in the process of getting it under control, but I'm still at a point where even interactions with old friends and family can be uncomfortable without either taking anti-anxiety meds (I've been prescribed 0.5 mg of alprazolam, taken once daily if necessary) or having a few drinks.
I'd like to eventually get to a place where medication is no longer necessary to feel relaxed at work or with friends/family. I often have this pervasive worry that I'm being judged by these people.
The progress I've been making can be attributed to:
Self-administered therapy (Feeling Good, Social Anxiety and Self Esteem Workbooks -- a therapist would be nice but difficult to fit into my budget right now)
Talking to a trusted friend
Balancing a sympathetic attitude with proper boundary-setting
A conscious effort to put myself out there a bit more
I've made some really good progress in the last few months, but I'm having trouble with this next hurdle: the worry that I'm being judged. It's especially apparent when I'm with someone who is socially confident, self-assured, etc. I know intellectually that it's a silly thing to worry about, but that worry still just kind of lingers underneath, making me feel self-conscious and anxious in situations where this anxiety is not really warranted. It makes it hard to relax and just have fun with people whose company I used to enjoy without any apprehension.
I think these worries will continue to recede as I continue to work at it, but it'd be nice to hear some handy tips/techniques from the community to maybe speed this process along.