In this post, I will talk about a problem that most people with social anxiety suffers from – SWEATING! I will tell you the underlying reason why you feel embarrassed and humiliated when you sweat in a socially anxious situation. Plus, I will teach you a technique on how to feel comfortable even with having this sweaty problem.
Hello, this is Sebastiaan van der Schrier from social-anxiety-solutions.com. I’m talking this week about a problem that a lot of people with social anxiety suffer from and it’s sweating.
I had 2 private clients talk to me about this problem in the last week, as well as I had some comments underneath a video on YouTube where people talked about the problem that they have when other people see them sweat.
To be honest, that’s not something I suffered from myself. Although I did have blushing that I wanted to avoid happening. I was really ashamed and humiliated when that happens to me. But sweating itself has never been a problem. However, I helped many people that had this problem deal with it.
I’m sweating for you on purpose on camera. That is why I’m a little bit out of breath. I thought it would be nice and appropriate to be nice and sweaty when you talk about not worrying so much about being nice and sweaty. I know this is a little bit different because it’s pretty obvious that I’ve done something to evoke this sweat but I hope that your sweating does not get bad as this. This comes from, I did some self-practice in front of a mirror doing some barbells.
I first start with, “What is the actual outcome is that you want to get to?” So, the outcome that you want to get to is, “I don’t care if you have a problem with me sweating.” There’s a lot of freedom within that.
To get to that point, you have to be okay yourself with the sweating. That means that you have to relinquish that self-judgement. Give up your own issues with sweating.
So, how do you do that? Well, it is probably a bit too much to cover in a short video so I will just give you an idea or a taste of it.
It’s a little bit the same as a coaching series I recently did where I coached someone live, his name is Damien, to overcome his fear of being seen anxious. It comes down to judging yourself for being anxious, or in this case judging yourself for being nice and sweaty, and then projecting that on to other people and assuming that they are going to judge you as much as you are judging yourself for the sweating.
Your work is partly, coming into terms with the fact that you are sweating and releasing the self-judgement. So, say one judgement that you might have is: “It’s disgusting”. Another judgement that you might have is: “It’s inappropriate and I shouldn’t be sweating. They are probably judging me as weird.”
All of these kinds of thoughts, and they are not just thoughts, they are emotionalized thoughts. So you can’t just change them. That might be a little bit helpful. Much more helpful if you actually tap on these thoughts. So, you hold the thought in your mind while you move from point to point. What that does (when you do it in the right way) is it starts to disconnect the emotion that is connected to the thought.
A thought that has no emotion to it like, “Yesterday, I ate macaroni for dinner.” that has no emotion to it, versus “They are judging me for sweating.” that does have an emotion to it.
So the ones that have emotions to it, those are the ones that bother you. And those that really bother you are those that are difficult to change with “just be positive”, or “just change your thoughts”, or “Okay, they are too busy with their own stuff to be judging me”. Well that is actually, factually, most likely true but, it does not actually get rid of the emotion that you have connected to the thought of “They are judging me for being sweaty.” It might alleviate it a little bit but it doesn’t release it. We want to release it so it doesn’t bother you anymore. So that is the work we want to do so you can get into a place of: “I’m sweating, it’s alright. I don’t like it. I don’t prefer it. I wish it wasn’t there. But I don’t have an emotional reaction to it. There is no judgement about it. It is whatever. It is what it is. That’s what I happen to do, I sweat and so on.”
Once you get into that place, it might very well (or not) reduce the sweating. Or at the very least, you will massively reduce your suffering as well as your anxiety. Because when you are no longer afraid of it, it is no longer a threat in your brain. Then your brain no longer registers or labels other people seeing you as sweaty as a problem.
Now, I want to talk a little bit about sweating in general. I used to go into one of the dances here and it’s called “Ecstatic Dance”. This big, weird, hippie dance I’ve gone into a whole bunch of times. It was very judgemental off in the beginning, now let’s judgemental, but still a bit. It’s basically where you are letting go and you are dancing all over the place and people are lying on the floor and squirming like a show.
I sweat like a dog when I do that. Its a room of a hundred and fifty people in the middle of a jungle. It is an hour and a half long, non-stop. They used to have a towel guy there following me around because I was sweating so much that people are slipping on my sweat. And I would lie on the floor after that hour and a half and I’d be like swimming in my own sweat almost (I know this is getting a tasty conversation) like I am making a snowman out of my own sweat.
My friends laughed about. I laughed about it because it was funny. I’m known to be quite sweaty as you can see. It all start to gather around the navel. It’s like the core center of my sweat for some bizarre reason.
Anyway, I’m not worried about that. Why? I’ll tell you why – deodorant! I use it. Plugging for a friend actually. Here, try that out. It is a natural deodorant that works very well and doesn’t mess things up. Its called, “Bali Secrets”. That was unplanned promotion. But anyway, after all, it’s just water. What’s the problem?
I also don’t have so much of a problem with other people sweating as long as please, pretty please, use deodorant. Sometimes I danced salsa and there are some women which deodorant is not natural. So they are like “Come here, I’m stinky and like my natural sweat.” Well personally, I don’t. So, use deodorant. That is by far the most you can deal with the problem.
Also I read, wear dark clothing. I do that when I go out for social dancing. I don’t wear this. I wear black t-shirt so it’s not obvious. Those are solutions that you already know. I am just talking about sweating in general and that it is not that big of a problem.
I used to dance, and I still dance, with this girl and now, come to think of it, she is not as sweaty anymore as she used to be. Probably because she is no longer as anxious about dancing anymore so that sweating is not there much anymore. I would dance and grab her hand to start the dance and it will be slippery so its uncomfortable. It’s not helpful. It does not make things better. It does not make socializing easier. Initially when I dance with her I was like “Oh, wet hands”. But when we start dancing and that’s it. There is no real judgement. It is just in your mind that is it such a big problem. For other people, it is not a big problem because it is not really an interference for them. So, if you are okay with it, they will be okay with it. That’s what I’m trying to say.
I was in a restaurant with a friend of mine and we are having lunch. So, I pulled out my phone and thought “I would do this sweaty video soon so let me ask her what she thinks about sweating.” I didn’t tell her what I was going to ask her. I just asked, “Hey, are you relatively comfortable in camera?” And she said, “Yeah.” And I asked her, “Can I ask you a question over the camera?” She said, “Sure. What is it?’ I was like, “I’m not going to tell you because that ruins it. It just going to take one minute. It’s not a therapy question, just a normal one (because she is a psychologist). Just answer it honestly, ok?” And she said, “Alright.” Then we popped on the video and this is the result.
Sebastiaan: So I’m here with my friend Beatrice and I’m going to ask her the question. Do you know what question it is, Beatrice?
Sebastiaan: No. So, the question is “If someone is sweating a lot…”
Sebastiaan: “…what do you think of them?”
Beatrice: If somebody is sweating a lot? Why? In what context?
Sebastiaan: Just randomly.
Beatrice: A client? Or a person? Or some stranger walking by?
Sebastiaan: No. I guess, a friend who all of a suddens starts sweating. Or just sweaty.
Beatrice: Then I’m thinking, “Oh poor person, there’s sweating a lot. It must be hot.”
Sebastiaan: It must be hot, right? That’s just about it?
Beatrice: Yeah, that’s just about it.
Sebastiaan: You don’t hate that person immediately?
Sebastiaan: Or do you find that person disgusting?
Beatrice: No! Unless it is really smelly.
Sebastiaan: Unless it is smelly, exactly. That’s a good point. So, there you have it.
Beatrice: There you have it. Surprise question.
Sebastiaan: Anything else?
Beatrice: No, no. It’s okay to sweat.
Sebastiaan: It’s okay to sweat.
Beatrice: You are still loved.
Sebastiaan: This part of the video is going to be somewhere in the middle of a video. When they are watching this now, they’ll probably… Like, I’m wearing the same t-shirt and I’m going to be sweaty on the video. Alright, bye!
Alright. I hope you enjoyed that. Maybe? If so, leave in the comments below.
Anyway, there is more to it. Most likely to being okay and not judging yourself and being okay with what others think of you than just neutralizing those particular thoughts of
“I should not be sweating.
They cannot see my sweat.
I’m weird. I’m different.
I stand out in a bad way.”
All those kinds of thoughts that are emotionalized. That’s not really the foundation of the problem. The deeper problem that is feeding your problem with sweating in the first place is your lack of self-acceptance. You are not okay with who it is that your are. The sweating is a symptom that you are very focused on but it is not all of it. I can guarantee you that.
You wouldn’t believe the amount of people that I worked with who said:
“I’m afraid of other people seeing me anxious.”
Okay, so if someone does see you anxious, why is that such a problem?
“Well, it’s embarrassing.”
Why is it embarrassing?
“Well, they are judging me.”
What are they judging you for?
“Well, they are judging me to be a loser. Or they are judging me like there is something wrong with me. Or they are judging me to be weird.”
So underneath, you feel that you are not good enough. That there is something wrong with you. That you are weird. That is the bigger problem. You are not okay with all of you. You might be on the surface, but underneath or on a subconscious level, you are not.
So there is more to it. There is more work required. It is a social confidence journey. It is a path to go from sweating and being upset with it, to at ease socially (sweating or not sweating), being able to express yourself, enjoy yourself, have a good time. Freely being yourself, authentically sharing yourself with others, and really connecting. That is a journey, that is a path. That is not going to happen just like that.
You need to put in the work. You need to put in the effort. You need to either get assistance or do your own inner work. Uncover what is it the root of your problem and start doing the tapping. Do that kind of stuff. It’s not a journey of forcing yourself to face your fears, being tough, and beating yourself up. That’s not it. In my experience, it’s not it.
What it is? It is a journey of self-acceptance, of acceptance of the problem that you are dealing with. You have to be in terms of who you are, liking yourself, accepting yourself, respecting yourself and trusting yourself that you can handle whatever that comes your way. From that place, it is safe to be you. Literally, there is nothing big about it. Just having friends and being a normal person: It’s not special. It is just a lack of anxiety.
If you have a particular person in your life that you feel comfortable with or if you have a particular person in your life that you have ever comfortable with, think about how that felt.
Do it now.
Now, hopefully you can find someone. Some people don’t have that, which is still fine. It just requires a bit more work but you can still get to that place.
For those of you who can imagine someone who you are comfortable with: That person who you felt comfortable with, whether that’s a sibling, or an old friend that you grew up with, or a grandparent, or an uncle, or just someone that you met, with that person that you felt safe being yourself. That’s who you really are. That’s all there is to it. You didn’t have more social skills than you have now, everything was just the same as it is now. It is just the lack of anxiety. But with that person, you already felt okay.
That’s the path: coming from social anxiety to getting here, being at ease. That’s a journey and that’s take work. It might take you months. In some situations, it might take you years. But when you start doing that inner work, it starts to improve. Because from where you are at, it is difficult to imagine how amazingly good it is. So when you make a little bit of progress, which you can do in an hour, or you can make amazing progress in a time spent in a couple of weeks. You can half your anxiety in a couple of weeks for most people. If you apply these techniques in the right way.
So when you start doing that work, it becomes addictive because you are growing. You are making progress. Your anxiety is decreasing. You are becoming more comfortable. Now you are on the path. Now you are doing it. You are not just there watching these videos. It’s nice information. But information is not going to change you. Tapping, doing the work, that’s going to change you.
Having framed it in that way and giving you the truth of what is required to get to that place and by the way, I am saying it as something amazing. And it is! But once it has been amazing for a while, it just become your new normal. I’m not waking up everyday and saying, “Yes, I am at ease socially. Thank God and the heavens above!” It becomes normal.
Just when you saved up for your first car and maybe you saved up for so long and then you finally have it. You are so excited. You drive it. You love it. Then, after a month or two, you are like, “Yeah, that’s my car. I’m going out for a drive. It’s no big deal.” Or your house or whatever. You can use anything. There you go, I’ve said enough.
That being said, that frame put upon things, I want to bring you to a tiny tap along to get you to hopefully feel a little bit comfortable about the sweating problem. So hopefully, we shrink the problem a little bit. Hopefully, I have motivated and inspired you to start doing some of this work.
In case you are not familiar with it, this is called the “Tapping”. It is a psychological form of acupuncture. It is a very powerful way to release emotions and it very easy to do but you need to know how to do it right. I am going to show you one way to do it right.
If you do not know where the tapping points are, simply follow me along. Tap where I tap. If you don’t know exactly where I am tapping, just guess. Top of the head. Beginning of the eyebrows. Under the eyes. Under the nose. On the chin. On the collarbone. Liver point. Wrist point. That’s it and we are back on top of the head.
We’re going to do a monkey-see, monkey-do. I talk and you repeat what I’m saying.
So tap here, on the side of the hand. Fleshy part, from the base of the pinky finger to the base of the wrist. Tap here continuously and repeat out loud.
Even though I have this sweating problem..
And I sweat profusely…
And others can see it…
And it really sucks..
And it’s my biggest problem ever.
I am willing to consider the possibility,
Of maybe one day accepting myself.
But until then, I deeply and completely reject myself.
Top of the head.
And I should reject myself.
On the beginning of the eyebrows.
After all, I should not sweat.
Sweating is disgusting.
And it’s inappropriate.
Under the nose.
I sweat for no good reason.
And they can see it.
Now, while you are tapping on the collar bone, I want you to close your eyes. I want you to think about either the last time when you sweat, or you were sweating, and someone saw it, and you can see it that they were seeing it. Or imagine that happening right now. Wherever your mind goes is where you should go. Pick either or it doesn’t matter which one.
And really be there. See what you saw or see what you are seeing. Hear what you are hearing. Notice the facial expression and make it uncomfortable as possible.
So they are seeing it. It’s out there. Its obvious.
Now, just repeat after me out loud.
I release all my emotional attachments: To they’re seeing me sweat.
And it really sucks.
Open your eyes.
Under the arms.
I shouldn’t sweat.
(Look at me, I told you I’m a sweater.)
On the liver point.
Sweating is gross.
It means that they know that I’m uncomfortable.
Top of the head.
I should always look calm and confident.
Beginning of the eyebrows.
It is bad if they see that I am uncomfortable.
Side of the eyes.
They are probably judging me.
Under the eyes.
And I release all my emotional attachments: To they shouldn’t judge me.
Under the nose.
I can’t handle their judgement.
They are so much more powerful than me.
If they judge me, I’m going to cry.
Under the arms.
They are in control of how I feel.
I am warning you, if you are judging me, I’m going to cry.
On the wrist point.
I have this big sweating problem.
Top of the head.
And I feel really bad about it.
Beginning of the eyebrows.
It is so embarrassing.
Side of the eyes.
I feel so ashamed of it.
Under the eyes.
It is wrong…
Under the nose.
It makes me wrong…
It means that there is something wrong with me.
I don’t like myself when I sweat.
Under the arms.
Sweating is a really big deal.
I release all my emotional attachments: To sweating is a really big deal.
Unless it isn’t.
Top of the head.
And I’m willing to consider accepting my sweating, now or later.
Deep breath. Inhale, and relax, exhale. Good!
Now, what I want to know from you is, “How are you feeling right now?” How are you doing right now? After that weird technique, and weird tapping, and with those bizarre phrases. The information you have been hearing. Was there any insight that you had? Did you have shifting of feeling? How did you feel now compared to twenty-two minutes ago? Please leave in the comments below. Got questions for me, leave in the comments below. Want to subscribe, do it right here. Have a great week.
If you want more training on how to get rid of this problem completely, you can go to social-anxiety-solutions.com/products. You will find some products that I have talked about before. They will help you deal with that deeper underlying core of your problem.
Hope this has been helpful. Have a great week. Leave in the comments below on what your experience was. Please, please, pretty please. It helps other people to see that comment and hear about your experience. And it makes videos like this more popular in YouTube. Thank you. Have a good week. I will talk to you soon. Bye.