There are ways to assess how serious your social fear is and to examine its particular underlying causes. The following list of questions will help to clarify this –
Has the fear fettered you and limited your capacity to make friends? Can you list the reality and the details of this? Find good examples and speculate how you might have handled the situation better. Do you ever remember being like this at a younger age? What prevented you making friends when you were young?
Has the fear changed the course of your life (as fear of failure did mine)? Are you happy with the life you are living or do you feel thwarted and unhappy? Have you ideas about how you would have liked your life to have gone? If so, what type of life would you like to have and is it possible to achieve it? If there is a vacuum in your life how can you fill it? Were you unhappy as a child? What was your life as a child like?
Has the fear prevented you from having the type of job you would have liked to have? If so what type of job would you like to have? Is it possible to change your job? Check training opportunities.
Has the fear interfered with your ability to work in your current job? If so, how? Are you constantly watchful and fearful of authority? Do you spend a lot of time thinking about your job? Are you constantly checking your work? Do you compare yourself unfavourably with your colleagues?
Has the social fear prevented you from going to work? Check your thoughts to see how they undermine you. Did you miss many days at school as a child? Did you drop out of school early?
Has the fear stopped you from getting a job? Write down the avoidance mechanisms that fetter you and prevent you from applying for available work. How did you deal with college? Did you finish the course you were doing?
Has the fear prevented you from entering into intimate or romantic relationships? How many romantic relationships have you had? Were you able to make dates? Were you conscious of your so called defects when you tried to make dates?
Has the fear damaged an intimate relationship you have? If so, how? Explore the dynamics of the relationship and your thinking, feelings and behaviours. What could you have done to prevent the damage caused? What can you do now?
Has the fear affected your ability to relate to family and friends? If so, how? Are you isolated from family and friends? How serious is the isolation? Is it entirely your fault? What can you do to change your situation?
Has the fear stifled your creativity? How have you curtailed your creative inner child? How can you release her and allow her to be free and spontaneous? Do you feel yourself to be dull and restricted in that spontaneity?
There are many more questions you could pose to assess the impact of social fear on your progress in every part of your life and to help you cast off this fear.
Extract from my book – Understanding and Healing the Hurts of Childhood.
THERAPISTS IN TIPPERARY
PSYCHOTHERAPISTS IN TIPPERARY
DEATH OF A CHILD
ABUSE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
I am the author of six books
When a Child Dies. Footsteps of a Grieving Family
Abuse. Domestic Violence, Workplace and School Bullying
Understanding and Healing the Hurts of Childhood.
I’ll Meet You at the Roundy O
Priest, Politics and Society in Post Famine Ireland 1850-1891
Prince of Swindlers. John Sadleir MP 1813-1856
I am currently writing two books. one on DID (Multiple Personality Disorder) and one on loneliness.