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What if They See Me Being Socially Anxious?



In this post, we break down the fear of others seeing you being socially anxious…

… we’ll give you the tools to build an awareness in order to recognize and understand the problem

Here are some things you’ll learn:

  • An understanding of why this fear happens
  • A common reaction to the fear and why it is unhelpful
  • How to respond in a more helpful way, and
  • A mindset to take on and practice to make this work for you in the real world

Be sure to subscribe – there is a new post, video, and podcast each Thursday and so you can stay tuned for some very exciting announcements in the coming weeks.


Sebastiaan: Hey, this is Sebastiaan from I am a personal coach and help people with social anxiety to feel calm and relaxed in social situations. And in this video… well, I’m on my little walk here. I wanted to talk a little bit about this fear of becoming anxious, fear of experiencing anxiety and this is just gonna be a little rant and hopefully it’s helpful to you. I think it is. You’ll probably be able to relate.

So, one of the fears I see a lot in my clients over and over again and a fear that I definitely struggled with a lot myself is “Well, what if they’re gonna see me anxious? What if they see that I’m nervous? What if you know, they notice that I’m awkward and uncomfortable?” And you know, “what if…”, right?

Understand why you fear others seeing you anxious

And it kind of comes from, “Well if they do see me nervous and anxious then they will judge me, and they will judge me as maybe weak or a loser or inferior and they you know, that my reputation will change”. All of these thoughts are associated with it.

So, that is part of the fear as well as the fear of the symptoms themselves.

So, interestingly enough what happens when we get anxious for a while you know, if this is something that happens for you quite a bit then you know…. Oh, beautiful look at this. You become really afraid of the social anxiety symptoms themselves because your subconscious because it’s such an uncomfortable experience starts to notice whenever you’re perceiving a threat that the anxiety symptoms are there as well.

So, it’s starting to recognize that the beating heart the lump in your throat, the tightness in your chest is actually part of the threat.

And so, in your brain the symptoms themselves start to become seen as a threat and then lead to an even stronger fight flight freeze response and it’s kind of you keep you keep the loop going and it’s obviously not very helpful.

Looking at your reactions to this fear is key

So, what we want to do is we want to look at alright well, “What are my reactions to my social anxiety symptoms? You know, how do I feel about the symptoms that I’m having and what are the thoughts that are coming up for me?”

And each of the thoughts of each of the feelings that are coming up for you they all become tappable targets and you can target them individually and then tap on them.

So, what you want to get to like to be… The outcome is being free of social anxiety, right? However, I consider myself to be free of social anxiety. However, there are situations which I maybe haven’t been in before and I’ll feel some discomfort. You know, it’s part of life. It actually happens, it’s normal. But the big difference is that I don’t get a panic attack, I don’t have a severely anxious reaction if I start something new or if such as… I don’t know I started salsa dancing recently and you know, first time I went to like a social dance and I went to dance with some girls that I didn’t know yet and my salsa skills aren’t all that.

Yeah, it was a bit… I was a bit anxious. You know, a little bit like maybe a 2 out of 10. And that’s okay, you know? It is the mindset that you have when those anxiety symptoms come up that determines how well you’re doing in that moment.

An unhelpful yet common reaction

So, you can either the symptoms can come up and you can freak out about it and that will make them you know, get out of control get bigger and so on or you can be in a place of alright “Well, that happens. I’m still okay”.

Because what I find is a lot of people they judge themselves for having the symptoms. You know, now they are anxious and as a result that means that they’re not as worthy of respect from others.

You know, they’re a loser, they’re weak, they’re inferior and so on.

And what you want to get to be like, “Hey, I accept myself while I’m dealing with this challenge and you know, anxiety doesn’t mean that I’m a loser or weak or anything. It just means that my system is perceiving a threat and it’s reacting appropriately”.

Now it learned to see this situation as a threat. It’s not helpful, you know, it’s not helpful to see this situation as a threat but it is happening. My system is reacting as if there really is a threat. Now that sucks. You can beat yourself up of all of us, you know, you can beat yourself up about that all you want but it’s not really gonna remove the threat and it’s definitely not gonna reduce your anxiety. It’s actually gonna make the situation worse because now you have the anxiety to deal with and you feel upset about yourself, you feel this fear or what if these symptoms aren’t gonna go away, I need to push it away maybe, you need to take some deep breathing.

Responding to the anxiety in a more helpful way

What you want to do instead is start the finger tapping and you just want to be noticing the truth of what’s going on.

So, you know, you’re dealing with these symptoms and it’s uncomfortable, it’s unpleasant to say the least. It’s very challenging, it’s not something that you want and that the stronger your anxiety is the more challenging it is to have this kind of approach to it but with practice it gets better. So, you do the tapping. Just do the finger tapping. You can do it in your pocket, you can do it behind your back whatever and you’re accepting the symptoms to be there because they are and getting upset about it is not going to make it any better.

There’s quite a bit of information about… Well, the anxiety that comes up for you it has the same physiological symptoms as excitement. And you know, there’s… I forgot the guy, “The power of Y” or start with what? Simon Sinek. He talks about it you know, how before speech he notices the nervous sensations in his body and he tells himself, “It’s just excitement I’m really excited”. Brendon Burchard, one of the marketing guys, he talks about it as well. It’s a common thing in neuroscience. I read it in is this new anxiety book as well DARE and they have some good points to make.

My coach used to say it as well “Oh, well, just reframe it to be anxiety” and I’d say there “Yeah, listen. I know the difference between excitement which is a good feeling and anxiety which is a very fearful, dreadful, unhappy feeling”.

However, like my experience is with that is that for example with the salsa thing when my “anxiety” was at a 2 out of 10 that didn’t bother me and I had you know I’m not judging myself for dealing with these symptoms you know, I’m not upset with myself for feeling a bit of discomfort when I’m trying something out. I’m not upset with the status quo of my emotional well-being and I’ve done a lot of tapping in order to get to that place because it’s the most helpful mindset that I found at least in order to be at peace with yourself and in order to being at peace in the world.

So, when the anxiety or nervous energy in your body is just at a 2 out of 10, yeah, then it’s possible to put a frame of excitement about it and you know, that frame of mind actually can shift things around. It’s like “Hey, yeah, I’m excited because I’m trying out this new salsa move and let’s see how well I can do”.

When you’re actually dealing with very strong anxiety I have not experienced that to be beneficial, but you know, that’s just me. I haven’t tried it. If you try it out, you have very strong anxiety and you manage to make it feel like excitement then let us know in the comment section and I’d be curious, I’m always learning as well, you know.

Practice this mindset to make this work in the real world

So, anyway, guess what I’m trying to say here is the fear of becoming anxious, fear of other people seeing you anxious is very common. People are dealing with it, you’re not alone in it and you can get rid of that fear to a place and get to a place where you are okay with the anxiety symptoms showing up because you’re allowing them to be there, you’re accepting them, you’re seeing them for what they really are instead of the cultural programming that says “You’re weak, you’re pathetic, you’re a loser, you’re inferior” and that kind of stuff. You have a realistic perspective. It’s like “Hey, my brain is reacting as if there’s a threat. Okay, sucks but hey I’m dealing with it. I can deal with it. I’ve dealt with it before. It’ll pass”.

And when I’m at home or when I work with my coach or when I go through X Y Z program I’ll work through the triggers. I’ll work through the origins of why my brain is perceiving a threat in that particular situation and then I can move through it but right now in this moment I’m dealing with it, so I’ll deal with it. And just add the tapping to it.

And that’s a mindset that takes a bit of practice but as you practice that more and more you’ll get better and better at it and it’s really gonna help you in being able to live your life. You know, you don’t want to be hiding in your room forever until you’re done with your anxiety because that’s a road that leads to nowhere. I think Tony Robbins says, “That’s a road to a town called nowhere”. You know, you want to keep living your life doing the tapping, having a mindset of “Alright, I can handle these symptoms because they don’t define me as a person”.

Now a lot of what I find as well as when I work with clients who have like a really severe fear of other people seeing them anxious. It’s often that they’re afraid that one’s day the other people see them anxious that they’ll lose their respect. So, their sense of you know, the level of self-respect is very dependent on other people – “Hey, if they respect me, I respect me. If they think I’m cool, then I can respect myself. If they think I’m an awesome person, then I can respect myself”. And as a result, their emotional state is very, very much fluctuating and then you’re very much seeking for approval you know in order to fill up this hole, this emptiness inside which actually you want to fill up with respecting yourself.

Well, because when you respect yourself, “Hey, I respect myself regardless of whether other people respect me”. That’s a very empowered place to come from because then you don’t necessarily need another people’s approval. It’s nice if they give it to you but you don’t need it in order to respect yourself because you’re a self-respect is solid, and it comes from within.

Now how to get to that place that might be for another video, but I thought I’d rent a little bit about this fear of becoming anxious and in summary you want to play a replace that by an acceptance of your symptoms in an acceptance of yourself and a respect of yourself despite the challenges that you’re dealing with. We actually need some more self-compassion. Less beating up on yourself, more self-compassion.

Alright. So, hope this has been helpful. If you have any questions or any feedback leave it in the comments below. If you’re not subscribed to the channel yet you can do that here or here and if you are new to the tapping, you haven’t experienced the tapping, yet I have a free social confidence starter kit where you get a free EFT video course and my eBook “How to overcome social anxiety completely”. And in there I share what I used overcome my social anxiety and how you can do the same. So, you can check that by… you can get that by clicking on the link below this video in the description box on YouTube or go into my website

Alright. By the way there’s something very exciting coming up in a couple of weeks. Couple was 2 in the U.S., that’s not how I mean it. Let’s just say a bunch of weeks. More on that very soon. All right. Bye for now, talk to you next Thursday.

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