Are you scared to join a conversation, worried that you will the say the wrong thing, or that people will find you boring? Do you long to be yourself, yet worry that everyone will judge you? Perhaps you find yourself commenting on social media, only to press the backspace button and wipe your comment clean, for fear that someone might not agree with you?  Maybe you worry that you are dull or uninteresting?

I would like you to take a look at the person circled in the picture below.
Social Anxiety
The person you see, is me.  It was taken many years ago, on a night out with work mates, when I was around the age of 16 or 17.  Initially I cringed  when I came across this photo, but then I realised just how far I have come.  These days as a hypnotherapist I am very good at reading people, I can see the unconscious signals that tell me when someone is uncomfortable, anxious etc.  In this photograph those signals are so glaringly obvious as I look at my younger self.  I see and recall the discomfort I felt in those days so vividly – it was not just a case of being shy.  I worried about what people thought about me, and would later agonise over what I should have said or done differently.  I hated being the centre of attention because my face and chest would flush a hot red, giving me away.  My stomach used to churn at the thought of joining into the conversation and I desperately wanted to fit in.  During the day I worked in a telesales environment where I was fine, talking to strangers in a structured, sales patter way, yet talking to friends or even family members on the phone would be excruciating.  At 18 I got a part-time job as a barmaid in the hope it would improve my confidence, but I would stand at the end of the bar puffing away on a cigarette to still my nerves.  I got better at feigning confidence over time, but would still often avoid certain situations.

In 2001 I went to see a hypnotherapist to end my 60-a-day smoking habit, I remember having a really, alarming thought on the way.  “What was I going to do with my hands in social situations if I couldn’t smoke?”  Perhaps that sounds ridiculous to you, but this was a very real concern for me. I did stop smoking with hypnotherapy and went on to use this to overcome my social anxiety and PTSD which arose from childhood events.

What I learned was that my fears stemmed from how I thought about myself and that I needed to be my own best friend.  I realised that my own low opinion and beliefs about myself were just something I had wrongly learned.  At birth I did not come into the world with these beliefs, they weren’t set in stone, and they could be changed.  I have trained as a hypnotherapist so that I can use my experience to help you become the person you both want to be and can be.  Give me a call on 02476450017 or 07758813667 and find out how I can help you.