Recommended books/sites about social anxiety?
November 15, 2010 3:08 AM   Subscribe

What are some good books and websites for learning how to deal with social anxiety? I'm asking for a friend who is going to a CBT appointment next week, but is interested in learning as much as possible. Are there other resources that would be useful?

My friend used to have problems getting to meet people and interact with them (beyond just being shy), but is now improved to the point of being able to make small talk and so on. However, she's getting stuck when she tries to deal with workplace problems, or develop a relationship from casual small talk to friendship. I've known her for years and value her friendship highly, but other people seem to overlook her.

Can you recommend a book or a website that was helpful to you in a similar situation?

It seems like a reasonably common problem, so if there are previous threads with similar resources that I've missed with my poor search skills, please feel free to point me in the right direction.
posted by harriet vane to Human Relations (9 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
The canonical Ask Metafilter reference is Feeling Good.
posted by dfriedman at 3:29 AM on November 15, 2010

This thread has some relevant advice and book recommendations.
posted by emilyw at 3:48 AM on November 15, 2010

Succeed Socially gets recommended a lot here.
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:55 AM on November 15, 2010

Best answer: Just doing a bit of googling and then drilling down, looks like it's level headed, informative, and has active forums. It might help your friend connect and share notes in an environment that feels slightly safer than real life.

Hitting Wikipedia, the Social Anxiety Disorder page is more comprehensive and better written than the Social Anxiety page. I'd guess that if your friend can use the information there without getting too worried about the label, it could be useful.

Searching "anxiety" from within Ask Mefi produces 1466 previous questions. Lots of them aren't about social anxiety but enough are to give your friend a good start. Just to narrow it down a bit further, as a post tag within Ask 'socialanxiety" has 62 results. I haven't checked but I'd guess a percentage of people are still using the term "social phobia" as well.
posted by Ahab at 5:31 AM on November 15, 2010

Best answer: My anxiety is not social, but is connected to auditions in my profession of music.

An anxiety specialist whom I once saw in DC, Jerilyn Ross, wrote an excellent book called Triumph Over Fear: A Book of Help and Hope for People with Anxiety, Panic Attacks and Phobias. I found it helpful, as I did working with her. I don't have her more recent book book, One Less Thing to Worry About: Uncommon Wisdom for Coping with Common Anxieties, but I intend to get it. She was a good therapist, and the techniques she taught me (which are in the books) continue to help me to this day.

(The Google search I just did very sadly revealed that she died last January. The obituary provides some background on her and her work. Thanks, Jerilyn.)
posted by Pallas Athena at 7:31 AM on November 15, 2010

Best answer: I'd highly recommend this book, Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness: A Self-Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioral Techniques. It's a very substantial book, and I bet your friend would find it to be a great at-home reference to reinforce all the lessons that she'll be working on during her in-person CBT sessions.
posted by datarose at 1:14 PM on November 15, 2010

Best answer: Seconding the Gillian Butler book which datarose recommended, it's the one the most people have recommended at the main social anxiety site I use,

Another book I like is called "Diagonally Parked In A Parallel Universe" (sorry I don't know how to put up a direct link to it).

Also there are some groups which deal with social anxiety maybe your friend is in a city which has them.
posted by AuroraSky at 1:56 PM on November 15, 2010

In the social anxiety group I lead, we use Foa, 1998 and Heimberg 2002.
posted by namesarehard at 2:45 PM on November 15, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks everyone - these are really helpful. Please add more if you think of any...
posted by harriet vane at 5:28 PM on November 15, 2010

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