Insights Into Teens: Episode 159 ”Social Phobia”

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-676by-1363a7a

Social Phobia is something most of us experience at one time or another and at varying degrees of severity. It’s that nervous feeling you get if you speak in front of a group. That shy feeling you experience around others who aren’t in your inner circle. Or the self-consciousness you may experience out in public for any number or reasons.

But Social Phobia that is uncontrolled and severe can be crippling and lead to other issues.

On today’s episode of Insights Into Teens we’re going to take a look at what Social Phobia is, what causes it, how it can affect your life, and ultimately how to deal with it.

Show Notes

INTRO THEME]
[INTRODUCTIONS]
Insights Into Teens: Episode 159 “Social Phobia”
My sociable and outgoing co-host Madison Whalen

Summary
Social Phobia is something most of us experience at one time or another and at varying degrees of severity. It’s that nervous feeling you get if you speak in front of a group. That shy feeling you experience around others who aren’t in your inner circle. Or the self-consciousness you may experience out in public for any number or reasons.
But Social Phobia that is uncontrolled and severe can be crippling and lead to other issues.
On today’s episode of Insights Into Teens we’re going to take a look at what Social Phobia is, what causes it, how it can affect your life, and ultimately how to deal with it.

Show Plugs
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[TRANSITION]

[SEGMENT 1]

https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/social-phobia.html
https://bit.ly/3CHfeTO

What Is Social Phobia?
It’s natural to feel self-conscious, nervous, or shy in front of others at times.
Most people get through these moments when they need to.
But for some, the anxiety that goes with feeling shy or self-conscious can be extreme.
When people feel so self-conscious and anxious that it prevents them from speaking up or socializing most of the time, it’s probably more than just shyness.
It may be an anxiety condition called social phobia

What Happens When Someone Has Social Phobia?
Extreme feelings of shyness and self-consciousness build into a powerful fear.
As a result, a person feels uncomfortable participating in everyday social situations.
People with social phobia can usually interact easily with family and a few close friends.
But meeting new people, talking in a group, or speaking in public can cause their extreme shyness to kick in.
With social phobia, a person’s extreme shyness, self-consciousness, and fears of embarrassment get in the way of life.
Instead of enjoying social activities, people with social phobia might dread them — and avoid some of them altogether.

What Causes Social Phobia?
Like other phobias, social phobia is a fear reaction to something that isn’t actually dangerous — although the body and mind react as if the danger is real.
This means that someone feels physical sensations of fear, like a faster heartbeat and breathing.
These are part of the body’s fight or flight response.
They’re caused by a rush of adrenaline and other chemicals that prepare the body to either fight or make a quick getaway.

This biological mechanism kicks in when we feel afraid.
It’s a built-in nervous system response that alerts us to danger so we can protect ourselves.
With social phobia, this response gets activated too often, too strongly, and in situations where it’s out of place.
Because the physical sensations that go with the response are real — and sometimes quite strong — the danger seems real too.
So the person will react by freezing up, and will feel unable to interact.
As the body experiences these physical sensations, the mind goes through emotions like feeling afraid or nervous.

People with social phobia tend to interpret these sensations and emotions in a way that leads them to avoid the situation
“Uh-oh, my heart’s pounding, this must be dangerous — I’d better not do it!”.
Someone else might interpret the same physical sensations of nervousness a different way
“OK, that’s just my heart beating fast. It’s me getting nervous because it’s almost my turn to speak. It happens every time. No big deal.”

[AD1: SSE]

[SEGMENT 2]

How Can Social Phobia Affect Someone’s Life?
With social phobia, thoughts and fears about what others think get exaggerated in someone’s mind.
The person starts to focus on the embarrassing things that could happen, instead of the good things.
This makes a situation seem much worse than it is, and influences a person to avoid it.

Some of the ways social phobia can affect someone’s life include:
Feeling lonely or disappointed over missed opportunities for friendship and fun.
Social phobia might prevent someone from chatting with friends in the lunchroom, joining an after-school club, going to a party, or asking someone on a date.

Not getting the most out of school.
Social phobia might keep a person from volunteering an answer in class, reading aloud, or giving a presentation.
Someone with social phobia might feel too nervous to ask a question in class or go to a teacher for help.

Missing a chance to share their talents and learn new skills.
Social phobia might prevent someone from auditioning for the school play, being in the talent show, trying out for a team, or joining in a service project.
Social phobia not only prevents people from trying new things.
It also prevents them from making the normal, everyday mistakes that help people improve their skills still further.

Why Do Some People Develop Social Phobia?
Kids, teens, and adults can have social phobia.
Most of the time, it starts when a person is young.
Like other anxiety-based problems, social phobia develops because of a combination of factors:

A person’s biological makeup.
Social phobia could be partly due to the genes and temperament a person inherits.
Inherited genetic traits from parents and other relatives can influence how the brain senses and regulates anxiety, shyness, nervousness, and stress reactions.
Likewise, some people are born with a shy temperament and tend to be cautious and sensitive in new situations and prefer what’s familiar. Most people who develop social phobia have always had a shy temperament.
Not everyone with a shy temperament develops social phobia (in fact, most don’t).
It’s the same with genes.
But people who inherit these traits do have an increased chance of developing social phobia.

Behaviors learned from role models (especially parents).
A person’s naturally shy temperament can be influenced by what he or she learns from role models.
If parents or others react by overprotecting a child who is shy, the child won’t have a chance to get used to new situations and new people.
Over time, shyness can build into social phobia.
Shy parents might also unintentionally set an example by avoiding certain social interactions.
A shy child who watches this learns that socializing is uncomfortable, distressing, and something to avoid.

Life events and experiences.
If people born with a cautious nature have stressful experiences, it can make them even more cautious and shy.
Feeling pressured to interact in ways they don’t feel ready for, being criticized or humiliated, or having other fears and worries can make it more likely for a shy or fearful person to develop social anxiety.
People who constantly receive critical or disapproving reactions may grow to expect that others will judge them negatively.
Being teased or bullied will make people who are already shy likely to retreat into their shells even more.
They’ll be scared of making a mistake or disappointing someone, and will be more sensitive to criticism.

The good news is that the effect of these negative experiences can be turned around with some focused slow-but-steady effort. Fear can be learned. And it can also be unlearned, too.

[AD2: ENTERTAINMENT]

[SEGMENT 3]

Dealing With Social Phobia
People with social phobia can learn to manage fear, develop confidence and coping skills, and stop avoiding things that make them anxious.
But it’s not always easy.
Overcoming social phobia means getting up the courage it takes to go beyond what’s comfortable, little by little.

Who can support and guide people in overcoming social phobia
Therapists can help people recognize the physical sensations caused by fight or flight and teach them to interpret these sensations more accurately.
Therapists can help people create a plan for facing social fears one by one, and help them build the skills and confidence to do it.
This includes practicing new behaviors.
Sometimes, but not always, medications that reduce anxiety are used as part of the treatment for social phobia.

Family or friends are especially important for people who are dealing with social phobia.
The right support from a few key people can help those with social phobia gather the courage to go outside their comfort zone and try something new.
Putdowns, lectures, criticisms, and demands to change don’t help — and just make a person feel bad.
Having social phobia isn’t a person’s fault and isn’t something anyone chooses.
Instead, friends and family can encourage people with social phobia to pick a small goal to aim for, remind them to go for it, and be there when they might feel discouraged.
Good friends and family are there to celebrate each small success along the way.

Overcoming Social Phobia
Dealing with social phobia takes patience, courage to face fears and try new things, and the willingness to practice.
It takes a commitment to go forward rather than back away when feeling shy.
Little by little, someone who decides to deal with extreme shyness can learn to be more comfortable.
Each small step forward helps build enough confidence to take the next small step.
As shyness and fears begin to melt, confidence and positive feelings build.
Pretty soon, the person is thinking less about what might feel uncomfortable and more about what might be fun.

[TRANSITION]

[CLOSE]

Closing thoughts shoutouts

[OUTRO AND CREDITS]

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Email us at:
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Links to all these on the web Web:
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Transcription

00:00:01:16 – 00:00:41:09
Michelle
Insightful podcasts by informative host insights into Things, a podcast network. Welcome to Insights Into Teens, a podcast series exploring the issues and challenges of today’s youth. Your hosts are Joseph and Madison, as well as a father and daughter team making their way through the challenges of.

00:00:41:09 – 00:00:50:07
Michelle
The teenage years.

00:00:51:18 – 00:01:04:24
Joseph
Welcome to Insights Into Teens. This is episode 159 Social Phobia. I’m your host, Joseph Whelan, and my sociable and outgoing co-host, Madison Rowland.

00:01:05:02 – 00:01:08:16
Madison
Hi, everyone. Again, don’t really think that describes me, but Sean.

00:01:08:24 – 00:01:11:23
Joseph
Well, this is what we’re shooting for at the end of the episode.

00:01:11:24 – 00:01:12:15
Madison
Fair enough.

00:01:12:23 – 00:01:16:06
Joseph
I’m projecting. We’ll say, How you doing today?

00:01:16:28 – 00:01:18:09
Madison
Doing all right. How about you?

00:01:18:19 – 00:01:25:10
Joseph
Doing pretty good. So far, so good this week. Anything exciting on your end?

00:01:26:01 – 00:01:29:14
Madison
Not really much. Kind of just getting back into the swing of things. Still.

00:01:29:18 – 00:01:47:18
Joseph
Still. It takes a while. Okay. I guess I was fortunate enough to make a trip to Scenic Salisbury, Maryland, on Tuesday. You got to see the team down there. So that was fun. Broke up the week a little bit. Yeah, but other than that, nothing exciting for me.

00:01:47:24 – 00:01:48:03
Madison
Hmm.

00:01:48:29 – 00:02:27:07
Joseph
So today we were talking social phobia. Now we touched on it kind of by mention last week when we were talking about shyness and social phobias, kind of an extension, kind of an extreme extension of shyness. Social phobia is something most of us experience at one time or another, at varying degrees of severity. It’s that nervous feeling you get if you speak in front of a group that shy feeling you experience around others who aren’t in your inner circle, or the self-consciousness you may experience out in public for any number of reasons.

00:02:27:24 – 00:02:52:25
Joseph
But social phobia that is uncontrolled and severe can be crippling and lead to other issues. Well, today’s episode of Insights into Teens, we’re going to take a look at what social phobia is, what causes it, how it can affect your life, and ultimately how you can deal with it. But before we do that, I would like to invite our listening and viewing audience to subscribe to the podcast.

00:02:53:21 – 00:03:19:17
Joseph
You can find audio versions of insights in the teens listed as Insights in the Teens on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, iHeartRadio. You can also find audio versions and video versions of all the network’s podcasts listed as insights into things at those same locations. We would also invite you to write in, give us your feedback. You can email us are comments and insights into things to come.

00:03:19:27 – 00:03:31:15
Joseph
You can hit us on Twitter at insights, underscore things, or you can find us on Facebook, at Facebook.com, slash insights in the things, podcasts. Are we ready?

00:03:31:17 – 00:03:34:09
Madison
I guess we have to be okay.

00:03:34:09 – 00:03:37:06
Joseph
We don’t have to be. We can chit chat for a little bit longer if you like.

00:03:37:13 – 00:03:38:05
Madison
It’s fine.

00:03:38:10 – 00:03:41:07
Joseph
Okay, here we go.

00:03:45:20 – 00:04:16:02
Joseph
So our research comes to us again from our kids health work website. Anything the next few weeks will be drawing from that same resource, which is a very good resource. So what is social phobia? It’s a it’s natural to feel self-conscious, nervous or shy in front of others at times. Most people get through these moments when they need to, but for some, the anxiety that goes with feeling shy or self-conscious can be extreme.

00:04:16:27 – 00:04:29:09
Joseph
When people feel so self-conscious and anxious that it prevents them from speaking up or socializing most of the time. It’s probably more than just shyness. It may be an anxiety condition or social phobia.

00:04:30:08 – 00:04:56:29
Madison
So what happens when someone has social phobia? Well, extreme feelings of shyness and self-consciousness spilled into a powerful fear as a result, a person will uncomfortable participating in everyday social situations. People with social phobia can usually interact easily with family and a few close friends by meeting new people. Talking in a group or speaking in public can cause their extreme shyness to kick in.

00:04:57:13 – 00:05:10:18
Madison
With social phobia, a person’s extreme shyness, self-consciousness and fears of embarrassment get in the way of life. Instead of enjoying social activities, people with social phobia might dread them and avoid some of them altogether.

00:05:11:12 – 00:05:42:04
Joseph
So what causes social phobia, like other phobias? Social phobia is a fear reaction to something that isn’t actually dangerous, although the body and mind react as if the danger is real. This means that someone feels physical sensations of fear, like a fast or heartbeat and breathing. These are part of the body’s fight or flight response. They are caused by a rush of adrenaline and other chemicals that prepare the body to either fight or make a quick getaway.

00:05:42:17 – 00:06:06:20
Madison
This biological mechanism kicks in when they feel afraid. It’s a built in nervous system response that alerts us to danger so we can protect ourselves with social phobia. This response gets activated too often, too strongly, and in situations where it’s out of place because the physical sensations that go into the response are real and sometimes quite strong, the danger seems real too.

00:06:06:28 – 00:06:18:03
Madison
So the person will react by freezing up and will feel unable to interact. As the body experiences these physical sensations, the mind goes through emotions like feeling frayed or nervous.

00:06:18:28 – 00:06:39:28
Joseph
People with social phobia tend to interpret these sensations and emotions in a way that leads them to avoid the situation. They might say, Oh, my heart’s pounding. This must be dangerous. I’d better not do it. Well, someone else might interpret the same physical sensations of nervousness a different way. They might say, Okay, that’s just my heart beating fast.

00:06:40:15 – 00:07:05:28
Joseph
It gets me a little nervous because it’s almost my turn to speak, but it happens every time, so it’s no big deal. So with that in mind, you know, we talked last week about the shyness that both you and I suffer from. And the question kind of comes up now is, is that shyness controllable or is that shyness something that controls us?

00:07:05:28 – 00:07:28:07
Joseph
And I think that’s kind of where I am. I’m not, you know, a clinical psychologist or anything like that. So when I think of phobias and I think of normal fears, that’s kind of where I draw that line. Do I control that fear or does that fear control me? And if that fear controls me, I tend to think of it more along the lines of it being a phobia.

00:07:29:09 – 00:07:34:19
Joseph
Does your shyness control you or do you control the shyness?

00:07:36:08 – 00:08:01:06
Madison
I guess it can be both in certain situations. I definitely think my shiners can control me to a point where I have the anxiety and it controls me to not do certain things, while in other instances I kind of control the shyness and the fact that like, it’s either I personally don’t want to do it or something that I will do despite the shyness.

00:08:01:25 – 00:08:30:09
Joseph
So we’ve talked about fears and phobias on the podcast in the past. And and I certainly don’t want to bring up a painful topic, but one phobia that we’ve definitely determine and you have is arachnophobia. You’re afraid of spiders. And it’s almost a crippling fear of spiders that you’ve suffered from for a long time now. Does your shyness fall into the same category as your fear of spiders?

00:08:31:28 – 00:08:54:18
Madison
Being honest, not really. It’s not as crippling as my fear of spiders because my fear of spiders has just stopped me like I will. If I see a spider, I will not go in that room. It can be in my bedroom. It can be the bathroom. I will not go in that room. You cannot make me go in that room unless the spider is either out of it or killed.

00:08:55:10 – 00:09:00:09
Joseph
So it’s probably fair to say that you don’t have social phobia if that’s the case.

00:09:00:10 – 00:09:01:09
Madison
Yeah, probably.

00:09:01:28 – 00:09:41:02
Joseph
Otherwise, we’d have to kind of categorize as a two of those in a very similar level of fear. I don’t think I have social phobia myself either. I think mine tends to just be that awkward shyness that I might try to avoid a situation. But it’s funny because after talking about shyness last week, I found a couple of situations that I would normally have not engaged in at work because it would have required me to to speak in front of a group.

00:09:42:06 – 00:10:02:23
Joseph
And I saw the opportunity and I attacked it. And I just, you know, I went for an and it kind of felt good, you know, it was something that I would have avoided doing. But if I had to do it, I could have. But after having our talk last week, it was one of those well, let’s give this a shot and see how it works.

00:10:02:23 – 00:10:16:21
Joseph
And it worked out pretty well. So I don’t think I suffer from social phobia either. So I think that’s good. I think we’re both in a good place here. I think we kind of understand what social phobia is, even though we don’t suffer from it.

00:10:16:25 – 00:10:17:06
Madison
Yeah.

00:10:17:20 – 00:10:58:27
Joseph
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00:11:00:00 – 00:11:29:25
Joseph
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00:11:35:12 – 00:12:01:23
Madison
Welcome back to insights into teens. Today we’re talking about social phobia and now we’re going to talk about how social phobia can affect someone’s life. Well, it’s also phobia. Thoughts and fears about what others think get exaggerated in someone’s mind. The person starts to focus on the embarrassing things that could happen instead of the good things. This makes the situation seem much worse than it is and influences a person to avoid it.

00:12:03:07 – 00:12:08:20
Joseph
Sorry, I’m over here pushing buttons on the mixture. I wasn’t paying attention. I’m sorry.

00:12:08:21 – 00:12:09:09
Madison
You’re good.

00:12:10:16 – 00:12:39:00
Joseph
Some of the ways social phobia can affect someone’s life include feeling lonely or disappointed over missed opportunities for friendship and fun. Social phobia might prevent someone from chatting with friends in the lunchroom, joining an after school club, going to a party, or asking someone on a date. Not getting the most out of school is another problem. Social phobia might keep a person from volunteering an answer in class.

00:12:39:15 – 00:12:50:25
Joseph
Reading aloud or giving a presentation. Someone with social phobia might feel too nervous to ask a question in class or go to a teacher for help.

00:12:51:07 – 00:13:15:20
Madison
There’s also missing a chance to share their talents and new skills. Social phobia might prevent someone from auditioning for a school play, being in the talent show, trying out for a team or joining in a service project. Social phobia not only prevents people from trying new things, but it also prevents them from making the normal, everyday mistakes that help people improve their skills for their skills further.

00:13:16:06 – 00:13:46:04
Joseph
So we talked about this a little bit last week about some of the impact of being shy could have. And we had talked about the impact on school and how sometimes it might prevent you from raising your hand. If you’re, you know, like you said, you didn’t want to have the wrong answer. Have you ever experienced a situation when you’re in class where you knew you should be participating or you felt you should be participating?

00:13:46:18 – 00:13:49:17
Joseph
And you didn’t because you were afraid of something like that.

00:13:50:13 – 00:14:18:04
Madison
I mean, there have been like a few instances, some specifically when like there were other people in the class who really weren’t willing to answer. And I knew that I, you know, should participate in having some sort of participation so that, you know, we can move class along. And I was scared that, like, I would possibly have the wrong answer, so I just didn’t answer.

00:14:18:13 – 00:14:22:27
Joseph
All right. So it sounds like kind of a mild version of that that’s happened in the past.

00:14:23:01 – 00:14:23:12
Madison
Yeah.

00:14:23:26 – 00:14:52:28
Joseph
What about showcasing your talent? One of the things that I really appreciate about you is the fact that you are artistic in a lot of different ways music, drawing, writing. You have a lot of different ways to express your creative side. Does your shyness hold you back from expressing there to others? Is it something where you just create and keep it to yourself and to Mommy and I?

00:14:52:28 – 00:14:54:11
Joseph
Or do you show it to other people?

00:14:54:16 – 00:15:19:21
Madison
I mean, I’d like to show my art to other people. And I did that when I was younger, specifically when I ended up making comics and in aftercare, whenever we had like reading time, I would get my comics out and show everybody and like I still share some of my projects with my friends, like my friend Aaron. I tell him the stories that I make and I read some of them to him.

00:15:21:05 – 00:15:26:13
Madison
Not really aren’t recently. I haven’t really been showing people though besides your mommy.

00:15:27:06 – 00:15:50:03
Joseph
So there are opportunities for you to showcase your your art. There have been art shows where your art has been put on display. There have been times where you’ve had a chance to write and be published. They’ve all kind of in school assignments, though. Have you participated in in those when those opportunities came about?

00:15:50:24 – 00:16:06:09
Madison
Well, yeah. A lot of the times. Most of them were required being completely honest. But, you know, I still put my creativity in it. And whenever there is a school assignment that allows you to be more creative, I, you know, showcase that.

00:16:06:26 – 00:16:10:10
Joseph
Now, if it wasn’t required, would you have still done it?

00:16:11:22 – 00:16:39:21
Madison
I guess it depends really what it was. It may not have been specifically the art, but whether I wanted to, I felt like putting the full effort in of like like the whole like more school scholastic aspect of it and less of the artistic aspect of it. But like some of the writing assignments, I thought were kind of neat, so maybe I would have, maybe I wasn’t really just depending on what the assignment was, I guess.

00:16:40:09 – 00:17:00:20
Joseph
Okay, that makes sense. I get by that. So why do some people develop social phobia? Kids, teens and adults can have social phobia. Most of the time it starts with a person as young, like other anxiety problems, social phobia develops because of a combination of different factors.

00:17:01:08 – 00:17:31:07
Madison
And one of these factors can be a person’s biological makeup. So also, phobia could be partly due to the genes and temperament a person’s inherent inherited genetic traits from parents and other relatives can influence how the brain senses and regulates anxiety, shyness, nervousness and stress reactions. Likewise, some people are born with a shy temperament and and tend to be cautious and sensitive in new situations and prefer what’s familiar.

00:17:31:23 – 00:17:52:11
Madison
Most people who develop social phobia have always had a shy temperament. Not everyone with a shy temperament develop social phobia. In fact, most don’t. It’s the same with the genes, but people who inherit these traits do have an increased chance of developing social phobia.

00:17:52:11 – 00:18:16:26
Joseph
Behaviors learned from role models is another factor, especially parents. A person’s naturally shy temperament can be influenced by what he or she learns from role models. If parents and others react by overprotective a child who is shy, the child won’t have a chance to get used to new situations and new people. Over time, shyness can build into social phobia.

00:18:17:19 – 00:18:32:09
Joseph
Shy parents might also unintentionally set an example by avoiding certain social interactions. The shy child who watches this learns that socializing is uncomfortable, distressing and something to avoid.

00:18:33:05 – 00:18:59:01
Madison
And the final factors life, events and experiences. If people are born with a cautious nature, have stressful experiences, it can make them even more cautious and shy, feeling pressured to interact in ways they don’t feel ready for being criticized or humiliated, or even having other fears and worries can make them more likely for a shy or feel, can make it more likely for a shy fear of a person to develop social anxiety.

00:18:59:27 – 00:19:22:15
Madison
People who are consistent, who constantly receive critical or disapproving reactions, may grow to expect that others will judge them negatively. Being teased or bullied will make people who are already shy likely to retreat to their shells even more. They’ll be scared of making a mistake or disappointing someone, and they’ll be more sensitive to criticism.

00:19:23:12 – 00:19:56:20
Joseph
The good news is that the effect of these negative experiences can be turned around with some focused, slow but steady effort. Fear can be learned and it can be unlearned, too. So what do you think contributes to your shyness? Of these three factors. Is it biological makeup? Is it learned behavior from role models? Or is it from life events and experiences that have kind of made you shy like you are now?

00:19:57:03 – 00:20:19:17
Madison
Well, I don’t necessarily know, but my biological makeup necessarily right now, so I can’t really say it’s that learned behavior from role models, despite the fact that mom is about very outgoing person. I think a lot of my shyness can tend to be learned from you probably.

00:20:19:28 – 00:20:21:10
Joseph
So it really is my fault.

00:20:21:17 – 00:20:44:14
Madison
It’s not just again, there’s other factors. So you being a shy person as you’ve admitted, and not really being interested in socializing with people, I do think has kind of had an effect on me. I know you really don’t like socializing. You don’t have many friends and you get annoyed by people easily.

00:20:44:20 – 00:20:46:06
Joseph
So that is true, yes.

00:20:46:18 – 00:21:04:16
Madison
And despite the fact that I have a decent friend group, I definitely get annoyed at people easily and don’t trust people easily, much like how you do. So I’m assuming that some of my shyness probably was learned from being around you.

00:21:04:26 – 00:21:25:27
Joseph
Well, I guess that’s possible. You know, it’s funny. I’m probably a significantly different story than you. Both of my parents were very outgoing. My mother was the type of person who could strike up a conversation with anybody. And she usually did. And my father, everybody loved my father. My father was always the life of the party wherever he went.

00:21:26:18 – 00:21:48:06
Joseph
So I didn’t have that role model in clothes that caused it. And obviously I didn’t have the genetic makeup because, you know, one side of my family was Irish. And Irish people tend to be very outgoing for the most part. I think I would attribute most of the reason I am the way I am today to life events.

00:21:48:20 – 00:22:18:00
Joseph
You know, being a big guy my whole life, there’s always a tension placed on you because you’re the biggest guy in the room and that attention is unwanted and unwarranted attention. So whenever you you get that kind of attention, there’s a negative feeling around it. And it was one of those types of battles that I faced for a very long time in my life.

00:22:18:28 – 00:22:42:07
Joseph
It wasn’t until I was probably in my thirties that I just realized I didn’t care what other people thought about the way I look. It was my life and I was going to live it and I stopped letting it bother me. But, you know, that’s 30 some years of that reinforcing of that shyness and that awkwardness. And it’s hard to kind of break away from that.

00:22:43:04 – 00:23:10:14
Joseph
The fact that I’m doing, you know, podcast now, I think is a breakthrough for me because I’m kind of throwing myself out there like I never would have in the past, but I think it’s kind of interesting how we, you and I, both have kind of reached the same point in our shyness. We have a lot of similarities in what our shyness does to us and what it restricts us for what we kind of got done differently.

00:23:10:15 – 00:23:11:17
Joseph
What are your thoughts on that?

00:23:12:11 – 00:23:34:26
Madison
I definitely find it interesting and it just goes to show that so many different factors can go into shyness, that you can still end up at the same point. No matter what it’s like, you have different it’s kind of the same analogy I have with math. It’s like there’s so many ways to solve different problems, but there always seems to be one answer to it.

00:23:34:29 – 00:24:04:03
Joseph
Yeah. Now, do you have friends that you think might be suffering from social phobia or extreme? I am going to say so social phobia, because I don’t want to attach a stigma to it. You know, social phobia is an actual medically diagnosed condition. But do you have anyone who’s maybe borderline there or extremely shy that might be more negatively impacted by that being you?

00:24:05:03 – 00:24:29:19
Madison
Um, I don’t really think any of my current friends because like from what I’ve seen, all the friends that I talk to and all the friends that I’m with, they like are able to have a ton of other friends they like seem quite social. And I guess the only person I can really see that with is possibly my friend Carly.

00:24:31:00 – 00:24:53:05
Madison
Not that like she has those issues cause like she has a lot of friends and she’s pretty social, but I can see like some nervousness going on and she’s told me that like she before she ended up coming up to me and talking to me at banned. Like she never really talked to anybody. Right. Just a ton of friends.

00:24:53:05 – 00:24:57:19
Madison
But something tells me that, like, she is still kind of shy.

00:24:57:27 – 00:25:03:29
Joseph
Yeah. And, you know, shyness is natural in teens. It’s natural. And people in general.

00:25:06:09 – 00:25:25:16
Joseph
So I don’t I don’t I certainly don’t think that’s a negative type of thing, nor is it something you necessarily have to get help with. But have you ever talked to anybody, you know, school counselors or anyone about shyness? Have you ever been confronted on shyness or a lack of participation or anything like that by anyone?

00:25:27:13 – 00:25:52:22
Madison
Well, outside of. Well. Hm. I don’t really even know if the one counselor I was talking to has really kind of discussed it with me. Like we’ve discussed other issues that go on. This isn’t really one that’s come up all that much and making friends because we’ve come is talking about clubs and whatnot, but nothing about like shyness and social phobia actually ended up coming up at that point.

00:25:54:11 – 00:26:21:09
Madison
I mean, I talk with friends. I seem to have some sort of a social life. So I haven’t really I don’t know if I ever directly mentioned it to anybody besides like you and Mommy. Like, I may, like, casually mention, like, how I’m not good at socially thing with my friends or, you know, I’ll just talk to myself and, you know, tell myself that, hey, you really need to be more open to people.

00:26:21:09 – 00:26:27:09
Madison
And then I realized that, hey, I’m way more bad at socializing because I’m just talking to myself about this.

00:26:28:05 – 00:26:48:13
Joseph
Okay? I can certainly see that. But we’re going to take our next break, our last break, actually. And when we come back, we’re going to talk about how to deal with social phobia. We’ll be right back.

00:26:49:24 – 00:27:20:27
Michelle
Insights into entertainment, a podcast series taking a deeper look into entertainment and media. Our husband and wife team of pop culture fanatics are exploring all things from music and movies to television and fandom. We’ll look at the interesting and obscure entertainment news of the week. We’ll talk about theme park and pop culture news. We’ll give you the latest and greatest on pop culture conventions.

00:27:21:27 – 00:27:52:01
Michelle
We’ll give you a deep dove into Disney, Star Wars and much more. Check out our video episodes at YouTube.com. Back slash insights into things. Our audio episodes and podcast insights into entertainment dot com. Or check us out on the web at insights into things com.

00:27:52:07 – 00:28:15:28
Madison
Welcome back to Insights Into Teens. Today we’re talking about social phobia and now we’re going to discuss dealing with social phobia. People with social phobia can learn to manage fear, develop confidence and coping skills, and stop avoiding things that make them anxious. But like everything, it’s not always easy overcoming social phobia means getting up the courage it takes to go beyond what?

00:28:15:28 – 00:28:17:15
Madison
Comfortable? Little by little.

00:28:19:01 – 00:28:45:05
Joseph
Who can help support and guide people in overcoming social phobia? Well, therapists can help people recognize the physical sensations caused by the fight or flight and teach them to interpret these sensations more accurately. Therapists can help provide can help people create a plan for facing social fears. One by one, and help them build the social skills and confidence to do it.

00:28:46:00 – 00:28:56:01
Joseph
This includes practicing new behaviors sometimes, but not always. Medical actions that reduce anxiety are used as part of the treatment for social phobia.

00:28:56:29 – 00:29:22:15
Madison
Family or friends are especially important for people who are dealing with social phobia. The right support from a few key people can help those with social phobia gather the courage to go outside their comfort zone and try something new. Put downs, lectures, criticisms and demands to change don’t help, and it just makes a person feel bad. Having social phobia isn’t a person’s fault and isn’t something anyone chooses.

00:29:23:00 – 00:29:38:19
Madison
Instead, friends and family can encourage people with social phobia to pick a small goal to aim for. Remind them to go for it and be there when they might feel discouraged. Good friends and family are there to celebrate each more success along the way.

00:29:39:11 – 00:30:06:23
Joseph
Social are dealing with social phobia takes patience, courage to face fears and try new things and the willingness to practice. It takes a commitment to go forward rather than back away from feeling shy. Little by little, someone who decides to deal with extreme shyness can learn to be more comfortable. Each small step forward helps build enough confidence to take the next small step.

00:30:07:17 – 00:30:36:21
Joseph
As shyness and fears begin to melt, confidence and positive feelings build. Pretty soon, the person’s thinking less about what might feel uncomfortable and more about what might be fun. So let me ask you what steps before we even get to that. Do you feel your less shy or more shy today than you were five years ago, four years ago?

00:30:37:20 – 00:31:07:09
Madison
Well, I largely say that I’m a little less shy than how I was a few years ago, because that was probably around the time I was in sixth grade, and I had a lot of shyness back then. I was going through a lot during that time. I had very few friends and the few friends that I had either got into fights with or they moved away completely.

00:31:07:28 – 00:31:22:11
Madison
So I and like I felt completely alienated by my class and I just felt like I didn’t really have a lot of people and the few people that I had, again, either had fights or I didn’t see them all that often.

00:31:23:05 – 00:31:41:14
Joseph
So how do you think you got from there to here? Was it a conscious effort? Was it just by default? Was it just surviving adversity? Was there a deliberate effort to try to overcome some of these things or was it just surviving?

00:31:42:01 – 00:32:14:19
Madison
Well, I think a lot of it probably had to do with the start of the podcast. I honestly have the podcast to thank for a lot. When it came to how I was feeling and you saw how I was acting when I was going through these the really tough times in my life. And you thought that making a podcast and showing and like trying to work through them with me like this and also giving it to people who may have also been going through it would help.

00:32:14:19 – 00:32:37:03
Madison
And honestly, I feel it has and I’ve talked about how it’s helped me deal with my emotions and all these other topics that we’ve already discussed. And I guess it could also have done something when it came to my shyness. I mean, you look back at the first few episodes, I barely talked. I barely said anything of the podcast.

00:32:37:03 – 00:33:04:25
Madison
You had a constant li get me to talk and I only gave really short answers. And you see me now and I’ve been monologuing for how many minutes? And so I can probably have the podcast to thank for a lot of it because it helped to open me up more. And then I also think the idea of having all the schools mesh together in middle school also and having a ton of other kids from different schools might also had a factor in it as well.

00:33:05:16 – 00:33:35:16
Joseph
Have there been any factors specifically in school? I know you had multiple middle schools show up in high school at one time and you’re kind of flooded with a new batch of kids that you’ve not been exposed to. Have there been events that schools have at school? Has there been clubs? Have there been any kind of activities at school that or even teachers?

00:33:35:18 – 00:33:47:04
Joseph
You know, would qualify? Has there been anything that the school itself has done that you think may have contributed to getting you to where you are today?

00:33:48:05 – 00:34:18:03
Madison
Um, well. Hmm. I don’t I don’t really know. I think one of the things might have been how the classes. Mainly that like I kind of got squished into because being in all these prior classes, you’re kind of in the same classes with a majority of the people and with the people I was in a ton of classes with.

00:34:18:03 – 00:34:43:16
Madison
I started, you know, gaining friendship points with and like I started talking with them and interacting with them. So I could think of that. I guess also the clubs I’ve been trying to join, like I’ve done marching bands, even though it’s probably not I was not social. It wasn’t as big of a social thing as I had hoped.

00:34:44:00 – 00:34:57:24
Madison
I made Carly as a friend and eventually Natalie and Madeline joining, and I made up and I got a better relationship with my friend Summer. And, you know, I could see that that might have had a bit of an impact.

00:34:58:11 – 00:35:25:19
Joseph
Like, let me kind of reverse that a little bit and ask, has there been anything negative that came out of school will stick to school? Has there been anything negative experiences, clubs, interactions, individuals without naming names that had a negative impact on that, that may have made you struggle a little bit more than you would have?

00:35:26:06 – 00:35:50:13
Madison
Well, I guess the biggest thing we can probably bring up is the pandemic, cause, you know, that stopped a lot of socially raising. And it also made me realize that I could live perfectly fine with hardly talking to people. So having that realization probably harmed me. But surprisingly, I think after the pandemic I was at I was slightly more social.

00:35:50:13 – 00:36:24:01
Madison
But, you know, I can definitely see, but it’s definitely damaged me in the fact that I wasn’t able to join clubs and because I didn’t join because like that had really stopped me from joining clubs. And this was like the first do I’ve actually tried to join clubs even though I wanted to join them in seventh grade and then the pandemic grew and all of that, and then I guess some more negative experiences partially with marching band might have also had instances that may have put me in a more negative mood of socializing.

00:36:24:27 – 00:36:56:00
Joseph
Okay, so let’s talk a little bit about the effects of COVID. So everybody was basically locked down for almost a year straight, longer in some areas. And most people when the lockdowns kind of started to lift, even before they started to lift, people were just jonesing to get out of the house that they were desperate to go see people desperate to spend time with family when things started to lighten up.

00:36:56:22 – 00:37:09:14
Joseph
Did that inspire you to be more social? Did you have a desire to it or was that a desire? Was that an effect that was transferred from Mommy and I wanting to be more social that just kind of fell on you?

00:37:11:03 – 00:37:39:27
Madison
Being completely honest, I didn’t really like the fact that we had to go back to school. I didn’t really like the idea of being around people, knowing the danger of it. And even though it was, you know, safer, like even when we were doing hybrid during eighth grade, I didn’t go back. I stayed remote the entire year. And when we basically were forced to go back, I kind of wasn’t really willing to do that.

00:37:41:00 – 00:38:00:07
Joseph
Yes. And neither were many other people either, both working with school. So let me ask you one last question. Mm hmm. How much of you contributes negatively Lea to being shy?

00:38:01:26 – 00:38:22:15
Madison
Probably my harsh criticisms about myself and the fact that I hold myself to really high expectation. And that’s really, I guess, where it comes in the play when a lot of social situations, much like I said earlier and last week, I don’t really like to answer questions because of certain questions, because I’m scared that I’d get it wrong.

00:38:22:15 – 00:38:40:12
Madison
That is mainly due in part to how I over criticize myself and say that if I get even the slightest thing wrong, I’m a failure. I really it shouldn’t be happening. I should always strive for perfection. And if I can’t meet that, then, well, all hope is lost or whatever.

00:38:41:10 – 00:39:05:00
Joseph
Well, and I think it’s worth noting that we’re all a work in progress. None of us are perfect. None of us are ever going to be perfect. But I think it’s important to understand that as hard as we can be on ourselves and it can be very hard on yourself, you have to be kind to yourself. You have to give yourself a little bit of understanding.

00:39:05:27 – 00:39:32:10
Joseph
We all make mistakes. There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes or you learn from them. So, you know, I know you can be your hardest critic at times. And as a parent, it’s very difficult for me to just sit by and watch that and not be able to do anything about it. But in the end, ultimately, you have to you have to have the drive yourself to change and improve these things.

00:39:33:00 – 00:39:57:18
Joseph
And if you get to the point where you don’t want to be shy and you want to be social, then ultimately it’s upon you. It’s incumbent upon you to make that happen as much as Mommy and I and anybody else can help you. There has to be a conscious decision. And I say this not just to you, but I say this to everyone out there who might be suffering from shyness at higher degrees.

00:39:58:11 – 00:40:25:11
Joseph
You have to want to get by. And until you are, you can’t consider yourself a failure. If you don’t set a goal right, you can’t fail a goal that doesn’t exist. So if you don’t want to get over shyness and you’re comfortable being who you are and the way you are and, you know, enduring the things that you endure, then you’re not a failure for being what other people think that you might should be.

00:40:26:11 – 00:40:58:06
Joseph
You know, you have to be who you are. And if you’re shy and you’re quiet and you’re not the kind of person who wants to get up and and, you know, given exposition to an audience, then there’s nothing wrong with that either. I think my my moral here is that if if it’s to the point that it’s stopping you from doing things and it’s causing other anxieties and other health issues, then it’s probably that’s where we’re borderline with social phobia.

00:40:58:06 – 00:41:13:16
Joseph
And it probably needs to be, you know, taken care of by a professional. Right. And I don’t think you’re there yet. And I don’t think you’re going there because clearly you’re getting better with it. So I think I think you’re in a good spot right now.

00:41:13:26 – 00:41:14:10
Madison
All right.

00:41:15:12 – 00:41:23:12
Joseph
So I think that was what we had today. We’re going to take a quick break, come back and get your closing thoughts and finish up the business of the podcast.

00:41:23:14 – 00:41:24:00
Madison
All righty.

00:41:24:03 – 00:41:26:25
Joseph
We’ll be right back.

00:41:31:03 – 00:42:08:29
Madison
All right. So to everyone out there, I just want to bring the message up more about the idea of social phobia. Sometimes people can be so afraid of socializing that it can genuinely be a detriment to their physical and mental well-being. And that’s not good. And if you or someone you know is experiencing something like that, I would definitely recommend getting some form of help, having a good support group or talking to a professional is certainly recommended.

00:42:08:29 – 00:42:21:00
Madison
And obviously we’re not professionals, but you know, we we can provide you the sources and, you know, help you get on that journey for self-improvement.

00:42:21:18 – 00:42:25:01
Joseph
All right. Sage advice, as always.

00:42:25:01 – 00:42:25:25
Madison
Thank you.

00:42:26:16 – 00:43:01:06
Joseph
Before you go, I would once again implore our listening and viewing audience to subscribe to the podcast. If you don’t already. You can get you’re working. You get you can get you can get something on the audio version. Thank you. Audio versions of this podcast listed as insights into teens. You can get audio and video versions of all the network’s podcasts, listeners insights and the things we’re available on.

00:43:01:06 – 00:43:20:21
Joseph
Pandora, Castro, Stitcher, pretty much anywhere you get a podcast. I would also encourage you to give us your feedback writing. You can email us at comments and insights into things that come. We do stream five days or release. We try to stream five days a week on Twitch. We had some technical difficulties today with our internet connection.

00:43:22:26 – 00:43:46:13
Joseph
Yeah, exactly. You can catch us on Twitch at Twitch Dot TV, slash insights into things. You can find us on Instagram, on Instagram dot com, slash insights into things or you can get links to all that and much more on our official website at WW dot insights into things dot com and you.

00:43:46:24 – 00:44:00:15
Madison
And don’t forget to check out our other two podcasts inside to never know tainment usually hosted by you and mommy and then into tomorrow are not really any more monthly podcast but working on it hosted by you and normally my brother Sam.

00:44:00:24 – 00:44:30:04
Joseph
All right, that’s it. Another one of the books by everyone. By.

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