It’s not easy experiencing anxiety about socialising. I had it for many years, and it was tough. All that second guessing about what people might think about me, or are thinking, or were thinking, it’s exhausting! Social anxiety has its roots in a universal and very primal fear – the fear of being rejected by the tribe.
It is all too easy when we are faced with challenging situations or struggling in some way to turn on ourselves with harsh self-judgement thereby overwhelming our nervous system. Self-Compassion is an effective practice to counteract this habit. There are 3 components to the practice of self-compassion: Mindfulness, Common Humanity & Kindness.
Although the craving is fuelled by the desire not to feel vulnerable, it also hides the vulnerability, so that all we’re aware of is an overwhelming urge to eat the biscuits, or buy the expensive shoes, or have another drink, or immerse ourselves in Facebook. Underneath, however, is something that wants our attention, and some kindness.
When I am feeling vulnerable my automatic tendency is to try to defend myself from both my own acknowledgement of it and as a consequence from exposing myself to the other person. Vulnerability takes us to that tender edge, an edge we have not yet fully listened to, dialogued with or understood.