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If a social situation goes awry, they automatically blame themselves.
If they make a comment that comes out wrong, they beat themselves up for hours or days afterwards.
When a person feels good about who they are, their values and what they have to offer, and sees their own experience in a compassionate way, it bolsters them against judgment.
By calming their harshest critic, their own inner judge, it opens the door to experiencing closer connections with others.
In 2007, researchers Kristy Dalrymple from Brown Medical School and James Herbert at Drexel University conducted a small pilot study on an updated approach to social anxiety.
Noting that CBT was effective for social anxiety in some clients but not others, or didn’t fully alleviate symptoms, they sought to explore further treatment options in the form of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
Despite the high incidence of anxiety disorders, adults often don’t seek treatment until years of suffering with the disorder have passed, if they seek treatment at all.
Because anxiety disorders typically start in early adolescents or pre-teen years, it can be hard to recognize anxiety disorders.
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is the third-most-common psychological disorder, affecting 15 million men and women in the US.
Another study in 2009, focusing on acceptance and mindfulness-based group therapy, also showed similar gains for people with social anxiety.
In my work, and in my life in general, I so frequently saw amazing people who were deserving of love and companionship, but who were paralyzed by fear, struggling with loneliness and hopelessness rooted in anxiety.
Self-disclosure is simply telling people what you think, how you feel, and letting them see what matters to you.
Reducing the threat of judgment from others–and yourself One of the reasons people may not disclose more about themselves is for fear of being judged.