Social anxiety

Kylie Woods, Staffer

 Social Anxiety is a chronic mental health condition in which social interactions cause irrational anxiety. An example would be meeting new people and having a sense of fear of talking to anyone.  

    Teachers have different perspectives of what social anxiety can be and how it affects their classroom and relationships with people they know.     

    “Social anxiety is when you have feelings of nervousness or being judged around other people,” AP US history teacher Olivia Basham said. “Students look reluctant to share with a large group and have difficulty with public speaking and students overall not showing information. Sometimes it will look like anger, yell at the teacher, and look like fear.” 

   Over the past couple years during COVID, social anxiety in people has grown and affected their relationships with their friends and family.

   “I do see social anxiety more than in the past, I think social skills have to be practiced and take time,” said Basham.

   Teachers can do many things that could help their students who struggle with this in coming out of their comfort zone.

   “I help my students with social anxiety by doing social activities like true colors, north, south, east, west which describe the students’ personality in different quadrants and recognize the quality in yourself and others,” Ready Set Teach teacher Linda Fetters said.

   Students also have diverse perspectives and how they see it in themselves.

   “Social anxiety is breaking down trying to get up the courage to order food for myself every time I go to a restaurant or every time I need to move past someone in the halls at school by saying, ‘Excuse me,’” senior Ryan Bone said.

   Students can have different ways of facing social anxiety and how it can become better in the future.

    “I just try to take deep breaths and realize that these people aren’t going to care or remember me unless I make a big deal about it,” Bone said.  

   Students also have different ways social anxiety can help them.

   “Social anxiety rarely helps me other than when I know I shouldn’t be talking in a situation,” Bone said. 

   When having social anxiety it can impact your life greatly, especially with family and friends they are close with.

   “I feel like I can never go anywhere in public without another person,” Bone said. “Social anxiety isn’t always apparent and it’s important to recognize that just because a person seems loud and talkative it doesn’t mean they aren’t freaking out at the thought of saying hello to you.”