As social creatures, we all live in a complex social matrix. We interdepend on each other.
It’s much harder to manage ourselves alone in the world, our thoughts and our feelings and our needs. The same is true for life at university. But what if we struggle to be in the social matrix? What if we need others but at the same time get really anxious around other people?
Social anxiety happens when we find it difficult to be around others. We have all experienced it at one time or another but sometimes it sticks. When it doesn’t pass, it becomes a way of being that makes us struggle and squirm. We need other people just like everyone else but we don’t think we quite belong.
We have thoughts like – ‘I’m stupid’, ‘I’m unworthy’, ‘There’s something wrong with me.’ Shame spins its cocoon around the socially anxious. We are on high alert for making ‘a mistake’ – we must not reveal that we are ‘stupid or ‘unworthy.’
Coursework, tutorials, seminars, and presentations, to name but a few of the demands of university become dreaded tasks if you have social anxiety. As if life wasn't hard enough you probably see others breezing through life socially and so you spend a good deal of time beating yourself up for finding it so hard.
The good news is that social anxiety is treatable. It takes time and effort but things can be made easier. Here are some resources that may be of help. You may also be interested in coming to one of our Overcoming Social Anxiety Courses.
Besides help with social anxiety, we have a programme of courses and workshops that run throughout the year. The topics include:
- managing anxiety, overcoming low mood, developing assertiveness, becoming mindful, managing anger, dealing with panic, help with presentation nerves, learning ’emotional freedom technique’, overcoming sleep problems, sessions on feeling homesick or thinking of leaving university and help with procrastination problems.
MMU Counselling, Health and Wellbeing Service
0161 247 3493