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Social Anxiety

Universal Fears and their connection with social anxiety

Let’s go through the 10 universal fears and how they are connected with (and trigger) social anxiety

Let’s talk about universal fears and social anxiety to see just how deep it goes.

Have you heard of the ten fears holding us all back in life? 

I’m not talking about ophidiophobia (fear of snakes), although I’m pretty sure if I lived in an environment where snakes would pop up any second, I wouldn’t be living my best life.

Sure, most of us can probably list one or two irrational fears, but generally, those aren’t getting in the way of living a happy and fulfilled life. 

Let’s face it: your chances of running into a snake if you’re terrified of one are low. But your chances of being rejected by someone are much higher.

Now, this list comes from LifeHack

There are plenty of other lists, but they’re all quite similar. I picked this one because it felt on point and had good reasons why the author chose the fears they did.

So, in this article, I want to open your eyes to the connection between universal fears and social anxiety. 

These fears steadily chip away at your chance to live your best life. Because if you pay too much attention to these and take them to heart (the way we do with irrational phobias), then you’re only screwing yourself over.

I imagine that the non-socially anxious folk might run into one or two major fears once in a while. 

Still, if you have social anxiety, you’re facing any of these universal fears at any given moment in time, so of course, you’re having a hard time, feeling debilitated day in and day out.

It’s pure punishment.

The good news is that we can rationalize each other and find ways to manage them so they don’t hold too much power over us.

Fear of rejection

This encapsulates the social anxiety experience. It is being rejected by co-workers, classmates, and crushes due to saying or doing something wrong. 

Or maybe not saying or doing anything. It could go all ways.

Fear of failure

Does it feel like everything you do is a performance? Small talk, regular conversations, basically walking outside your home? If every social interaction feels like you’re performing, then by definition, you’ll have expectations over it. 

And with expectations comes the fear of failing. Maybe you don’t speak up in class because you’re scared of saying something “stupid.”

Fear of uncertainty

The desire to connect with others is innate, but the fear of doing so and being pushed away because of x, y, and z can trigger your social anxiety. Y

ou might want to join an after-school club or the gym at work, but you don’t because you’re scared of being alone or pushed away by the inner cliques that are already made.

Fear of being judged

It is the most direct fear associated with social anxiety. The intense worry over people thinking negatively of you (even in their dreams) is at the heart of social phobia. And this runs deep. 

You might even feel self-conscious about eating in public because you’re worried others will judge what you eat, how, and why. 

It can continue, making you feel defeated from the get-go.

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Fear of change

Change. Period. Do I need to add more to this? Listen, no matter how often you’re going to hear that the only constant in life is change, it won’t ever lessen the impact of it. 

Change brings out social anxiety as you have to readjust to everything: new neighbors, new co-workers, new job, new dentist.

Fear of loss of freedom

We can make anything related to social anxiety, which is no different. Have you ever been to a party where you didn’t take your car? And your social anxiety kicked in, and you felt trapped, unable to leave freely? 

Or maybe your parents forced you to talk to your aunts and uncles and be social at family gatherings. That’s taking away your agency.

Fear of inadequacy

This is tied to the fear of being judged. Feeling “less than” or not good enough in social situations is a common worry. 

Maybe this fear keeps you from applying to leadership roles or speaking in front of people because you feel unworthy or incompetent.

Fear of bad things happening

This is a general fear about anything; we all walk around with this fear to some extent. Remember, we are on a hurtling rock! 

But in the context of social anxiety, a bad thing happening can be silence and awkwardness during a conversation, a confrontation over a word you said, being emotionally triggered and unable to hide, being the object of rumors, or unintentionally offending someone. 

The list is long.

Fear of getting hurt

This is also quite a general fear and could mean anything. In social anxiety, you might not share your story, be vulnerable, or ask questions because you’re scared of the emotional hurt that can come from it. 

The thing with this is that it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy because if you avoid sharing thoughts or getting closer to someone, you’ll end up alienating them and getting hurt. It feels counterproductive.

What do you think? 

Do you see the connection between the universal fears and social anxiety?

It helps me understand how deep social anxiety is and why it gets triggered so often, in so many ways, and in so many situations.

There are 10 universal fears that we all generally run into. I wanted to connect them with social anxiety to show you how deep it goes

These are the ten universal fears:

  1. Fear of rejection
  2. Fear of failure
  3. Fear of uncertainty
  4. Fear of loneliness
  5. Fear of being judged
  6. Fear of change
  7. Fear of loss of freedom
  8. Fear of inadequacy
  9. Fear of bad things happening
  10. Fear of getting hurt

I'm Roxana

I went from being scared to ask a question out loud to hosting summits online. I love coffee, french crepes, and working from home. My mission? Help others build their social confidence to make friends, have conversations, and be comfortable around people!

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