Do you want to participate in New Years’ Eve parties and family gatherings during the holidays, but the thought of being yourself around other people stresses you out? Do you clam up or feel unsure of what to say during social situations? Do your negative thoughts about yourself and how you are perceived run wild? Or–perhaps this is a familiar scenario: you go to family gatherings and friend get-togethers, but feel as if you have to put on a false front in order to fit in. At the end of the day, you are exhausted and you don’t feel any more connected to the people you just spent time with. You feel as if you are on the outside looking in. Everyone else but you seems to connect. For those of us who struggle in the social realm, the holidays have a way of highlighting this perceived deficiency. In fact, social anxiety is the highest diagnosed form of anxiety disorders, so there are probably many of us walking around feeling socially defective at this time of year.
Thankfully, the dawning of the new year can also spark hope. At this time of year, we are driven to reflect on our past and make resolutions for a better future. Perhaps you have not been as involved as you have wanted to be in your social life. Or perhaps you have not wanted to be involved socially, but something in your life seems to be amiss. If you are looking for a New Years’ Resolution, here are the top 5 ways to tackle social exclusion and anxiety in 2020:
Ever google something like “therapists in my area” to discover more choices exist than you can possibly review? The increasing number of private practice therapists out there is growing, and this is great news in terms of increasing accessibility to therapy. However, without knowing who exactly you are looking for, the choices can be daunting. And let me be very clear, finding the right therapist for you is critical to achieve positive outcomes in therapy. I usually offer the same advice to anyone asking me how to go about finding a therapist…book at least 2 intake appointments – 3 is optimal. If you attend 3 intake sessions with 3 different therapist and you still don’t feel like you’ve found the right one, then it is probably a “you” problem and not a therapist “fit” problem – as in, you are probably not really ready for therapy.