Tag Archives: shyness

The Evolutionary Advantage of Shyness and Social Anxiety

tribe

I used to think of my shyness and social anxiety as a disorder—something wrong with me. As if I got unlucky and inherited a genetic defect. Then, I heard that social anxiety is not something you’re born with—it’s developed. Which didn’t make sense either because I’ve been shy and socially anxious my entire life. It wasn’t until I learned about evolutionary psychology that everything started to make sense. I was born with the tendency to be shy around strangers and worry about what other people think of me, but that wasn’t a genetic mistake. Shyness and social anxiety were actually an evolutionary advantage. Continue reading

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Social Anxiety in Movies: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

SA-Eternal Sunshine

In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Joel (Jim Carrey) discovers that his girlfriend Clementine (Kate Winslet) has had him and their entire relationship erased from her memory. Heartbroken, he decides to have the same procedure done, but as he relives his memories while they’re being erased, he begins to have second thoughts. Continue reading

Social Anxiety in Movies: The 40 Year-Old Virgin

40yroldvirgin

I first saw The 40 Year-Old Virgin when it came out in theaters in 2005— hard to believe it’s already been ten years. I remember laughing a lot and thought it was a funny comedy, but I didn’t think much more of it than that. The thing I remembered most about the movie was probably Steve Carell’s famous chest-waxing scene. Continue reading

My Experience Taking Antidepressants for Social Anxiety

my-experience

“Yesss!!! Finally!!! I did it!!!!”

That’s what I thought at the time. It was a combination of extreme excitement, relief, and optimism. That moment was about three years ago. I had just told my doctor that I have social anxiety disorder, and he wrote me a prescription for the antidepressant, Zoloft. Continue reading

Social Anxiety in Movies: Choking Man

Social Anxietyin Movies

What’s it about?: Choking Man is a psychological drama about Jorge, a young Ecuadorian immigrant with extreme social anxiety who works as a dishwasher in a Greek diner in Jamaica, Queens, New York. The story basically follows Jorge and his interactions with his diner co-workers, including an overbearing extroverted cook and a pretty Chinese waitress. Continue reading

Social Anxiety: A Rational Fear?

Many therapists and psychological experts say that our social anxiety fear of being judged by others is irrational. That people aren’t really thinking the negative things about us that we believe they are. While it’s true, you can never know what another person is thinking, we can’t ignore the fact that people do judge other people, often negatively. I know, because I do it myself. When I see someone do or say something foolish, I’ll negatively judge them— find them stupid, weird, or whatever else. Which is exactly what I and others with social anxiety are so afraid of other people doing to us. The irrationality of social anxiety comes with how much importance we give to those negative judgements of others. Continue reading

When Did You Develop Social Anxiety?

I’ve seen and read a lot of interviews where people talk about when they first developed social anxiety. For some, it was high school. Others, once they reached puberty. Or when they left home for college. But me? I don’t get that. Social anxiety disorder isn’t something I developed. I’ve been debilitatingly shy for my entire life, or at least as long as I can remember. Continue reading