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Do you get a jittery feeling when you have to give a speech in front of a house-full of people? We tell you how to cope with it, read to find out!

Do you get a jittery feeling when you have to give a speech in front of a house-full of people, especially your classmates? Does it make you feel nervous? Does it make you feel like you will not be able to deliver the talk?

What is social phobia?

According to Teentalk Expert Kshitija Sawant, “It is social phobia, when the fear of ‘screwing up’ is excessive or unreasonable given  the expectations involved in a social situation. Sometimes, it might go to such an extreme that the person might genuinely start believing that he or she is going to faint, die or embarrass himself/herself to the core even if there is no evidence to prove that.”

This feeling of consistently feeling nervous and anxious in social situations may be a social phobia. This can happen during the lead-up or during the event. Those who have social phobia will find it immensely difficult to face the situations they feel uncomfortable in. This can lead to immense anxiety.

How to figure out if you have social phobia?

If you get extreme anxiety while doing these situations over a period of time:

  • Giving a speech in front of your classmates
  • Delivering a debate
  • Eating in front of others in a restaurant
  • Not able to put your opinion across
  • Not being able to say no

What are the symptoms?

  • Physical symptoms include: trembling, sweating, nausea and stammering.
  • Psychological symptoms include: anxiety that the other person will notice the physical symptoms
  • Excessive worry about what others might think
  • People with social phobia might leave this uncomfortable situation as soon as possible
  • This affects the person’s lifestyle and relationships with people

5 tips to deal with social phobia by Teentalk Expert Kshitija Sawant

1.Positive Self-talk is extremely effective. Every day, say a few affirmations  to yourself atleast a few times before you go to bed and when you wake up the first thing in the morning. For example, you could say to yourself, “Day by day, I am getting better and better,” or “ I will do this, I can do this, I am strong.” Try doing this regularly and with the passage of time, things will surely start getting better.

2.Strike a power pose (that is stand like a superhero). According to Harvard psychologist, Amy Cuddy, even if you take out 2 minutes of your time to strike a power pose or stand like a superhero in a private space such as your bedroom or the back area of a stage before you deliver a performance, it will help you to feel good about yourself.

3.Focus on doing your best, not ‘log kya kahenge’ (or what will people think of me)

4.Practice before you go up on stage or before you attend any networking event. You could rehearse all that you want to say in front of a trusted friend, a family member or in front of the mirror. The more you practice, the better you will get.

5.“What is the worst thing that can happen  scenario?” For those who fear social interactions, here’s what you can do: try speaking to at least 3 unknown people at an event. Some may show interest, some might not show any interest. There is no need to fear rejection, because the worst thing that can happen is that someone will say ‘no’ and you will be back to where you were before attending the event. It can’t get worse than that! Remember, you tried your best and put in all the effort, good for you!