Can You Have Social Anxiety And Be An Extrovert?
Social anxiety is a type of anxiety disorder that is characterized by feeling extremely anxious in social situations. Anyone, be it an extrovert, introvert, or ambivert can develop a social anxiety disorder.
Generally, we assume that social anxiety is more of an introverted thing but it’s not always like that. So to answer the question, “Can Extroverts have social anxiety?” technically I’ll say it’s a yes but is it practically possible? Let’s find out.
Did you know almost 12% of Americans experience social anxiety? Out of that 12%, almost 40% of them are extroverted people, and the rest of them are either introverts or ambiverts.
I intend to tell you this only so that you understand that being an extrovert is not the reason for anyone to not develop social anxiety. Anyone can have social anxiety irrespective of their personality type.
Is It Possible For An Extrovert To Have Social Anxiety?
An extrovert is someone who enjoys being around people. They have very outgoing personalities and do not shy away from putting their point across. An extrovert is always ready to meet new people, make new connections, doesn’t fear being in the limelight, definitely is the life of a party, and is a people person.
Whereas Social anxiety, also known as social phobia, is a mental health condition in which people experience intense stress and anxiety when they are in a social setting. They fear social interactions, social gatherings, and anything that involves a group of people.
Imagining a combination of both does not really fit in very well, but it is quite possible for someone to have traits of an extrovert and also experience symptoms of social anxiety. If you are someone who identifies as an extrovert and feel overwhelmed when you are at a social gathering, know that’s it completely normal to experience social anxiety in spite of being an extrovert.
Can You Be Extroverted And Have Social Anxiety?
Now, it sounds unbelievable for an extrovert to have social anxiety. Extroverts are people who get a ‘high’ being around people. They enjoy being in social gatherings and meeting new people. Having social anxiety along with traits of an extrovert just doesn’t fit in, right?
But believe me or not you can be an extrovert and have social anxiety. What happens when an extrovert has social anxiety is that they get really excited in social settings but that same excitement gives that anxiety.
So basically, their confidence, which is very high before walking into a room full of people, takes a dip when they actually enter the room. Although they enjoy being around people, they also fear being judged by the same people or what others think of them.
What Is An Extrovert With Social Anxiety Look Like?
An extrovert can experience social anxiety and the symptoms are not any different. Extroverts experience everything any other person with social anxiety would. Let’s look at how an extrovert experiences social anxiety;
1. They feel judged: even if you are an extrovert you can fear being judged by other people. When an extrovert has social anxiety, this fear of being judged is heightened.
2. They feel insecure: be it any personality type, insecurity is felt by all. When extroverts have social anxiety they tend to feel more shy and insecure about themselves.
3. They feel extreme pressure: extroverts with social anxiety often feel a lot of pressure to make everyone around them happy. Even when they host a social gathering, they take a lot on them to make sure that everyone is entertained and is enjoying themselves
4. They overthink everything: extroverted people are always carefree, just having fun but it’s not the same when an extrovert develops social anxiety. They overthink everything they can.
5. They cancel plans last minute: this is something that doesn’t really align with the traits of an extrovert. When an extrovert is dealing with social anxiety disorder, they might cancel plans last minute because they are anxious about going.
6. They have fear of missing out: usually extroverts are present at every event but when extroverts have social anxiety they also cancel plans at the last minute because of anxiety which results in FOMO.
How to Deal with Social Anxiety As an Extrovert?
Well, it is possible for an extrovert to have social anxiety. Extroverts are comfortable socially, we all know that, but it’s also possible for them to be uncomfortable in a social setting. Extroverts experience an urge to be around people along with that they can have social anxiety as well.
Here’s how an extrovert can deal with social anxiety;
1. Educate yourself: read about social anxiety, what are the symptoms? What coping techniques can you use? What kind of therapy will help you with it? Etc.
2. Keep a check on yourself: for an extrovert to have social anxiety can be exhausting, leading to the worsening of the symptoms. So keep a check on yourself, engage in self-care, and take enough breaks.
3. Know that you have limits: you can’t always control everything in your life nor can you control how others feel. So know that it’s not your responsibility o make everyone happy. All you have to focus on is for you to make yourself happy.
4. Don’t have high expectations: things don’t always go as planned. It’s important for you to accept that there are going to be times of social awkwardness, and social embarrassments. Don’t always expect the best out of social interaction, it’s not always going to be a smooth ride.
5. Replace negative thoughts: the best way to deal with social anxiety as an extrovert is to first identify all the negative and unwanted thoughts that you have been having. Once that is done, try and replace them with positive and productive thoughts.
6. Engage in safe socialization: it will be best for you to be with people you trust and love. They will never judge you or ridicule you and you can safely socialize with them.
7. Seek professional help: it’s always best to get professional help when you find yourself struggling with social anxiety. Talk to a mental health professional and get the help you need.
It’s completely normal for an extrovert to develop social anxiety. If you think you have social anxiety, the best thing to do is to get some help.
Here are some helpline numbers you can reach out to for help;
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)
- Crisis Text Line: Text CONNECT to 741741
- Mental Health America: (800) 969.6642
That’s All Folks!
I hope you found this blog about extroverts having social anxiety interesting and informative. If you are an extrovert and worry about showing signs of social anxiety, let me tell you, there is nothing to worry about.
Do let me know what you think, can an extrovert have social anxiety? Do share this blog with your extroverted friends and family, you never know who is struggling with social anxiety.
Thanks for reading.
Take care and stay safe.