I think most of us today in modern society have some level of social anxiety. A little bit of social anxiety is normal. In fact, we probably evolved to be anxious in groups so we don’t piss people off and get kicked out of the tribe. This would mean certain death in the days of old. It’s a survival mechanism that’s been with us since the ape days.
The thing is, we aren’t living in the ape days anymore. The old rules don’t apply yet we still get nervous around people and fear judgement from others.
For me personally, standing in line at the grocery store or bank used to be anxiety inducing. Especially when you’re crammed in between the person paying and the person behind you, it’s like you’re trapped. Then it’s as if everyone is judging you and your groceries as the clerk does his best to make small talk with you. Heart rate elevates, palms are sweaty, Mom’s spaghetti.
You crack the hell out of the situation feeling instant relief as you put distance between you and the madness.
Social gatherings? Forget it! These get togethers are enough to drive someone with social anxiety absolutely insane. What if you get put on the spot in front of everyone?
“So Jim, what do you do?”
All eyes on you. All eyes on you. People carefully and attentively waiting for your reply just waiting for you to bomb. Maybe you manage to muster out a few words. Maybe you have a full blown panic attack.
Social anxiety can be crippling. Believe me, I know. I was the kid during the family get togethers who’d sneak off to my room when nobody was looking. I’d have to count down from 10 before entering any room filled with people. In a social setting, I was racked with anxiety and just wanted to escape somewhere where I could be alone. People absolutely terrified me and I hated conversing especially if the topic was about me (and it always was it seemed.)
The thing is, we are social creatures. If you want the best life has to offer you must get used to social interactions. You must learn to THRIVE in social settings and become confident in your abilities to communicate and make small talk. Carefully honed social skills can lead to all kinds of opportunities. You have to take the risk and put yourself out there.
The root of social anxiety
The root of social anxiety is different for everyone. Perhaps you had a traumatic experience that took place in a social setting. Maybe you didn’t fit in at school, you were the kid who ate their lunch all alone, you got bullied, your dad berated you, or your mother scolded you for behaving a certain way in public. You learned to shut your mouth and the fear forced you to shut down and completely avoid social situations all together. You went on the defense and sunk into a protective shell.
In most cases of psychology, a lot of the mental bullshit we suffer from can be traced back to a traumatic childhood experience.
At the core of it all though, social anxiety stems from a deep rooted fear of judgement. We don’t want to say the wrong thing because in the past we’ve been reprimanded and punished. We shut down and do whatever we can to not get punished. We’re terrified someone is going to come and reprimand us for our actions. We’re terrified of not fitting in with the tribe and getting banished to the desert where we’re forced to endure a lifetime of loneliness.
Mind hacks for social anxiety
Depression and anxiety are all signals from the body that you’re thinking about something in the wrong way. If I’m depressed I know it means it is time to self reflect about my thoughts, words, and actions. Am I doing the right things? Am I taking the right actions? Am I moving through the world with integrity and honor? Am I eating the right foods that will nourish my mind, body, and spirit? Am I taking on the role of the victim instead of claiming my right to be here in this world as a hero and champion? Powerful reframes determine your happiness in this world.
If you have social anxiety it’s important to understand a few things.
Everyone is just as scared as you are.
You think you’re the only one in the situation who’s in full blown panic mode. It’s easy for the mind to hone in on that one loud asshole in the room acting supremely confident and assume everyone but you feels like that. Everybody including you secretly hates that guy or is envious because he represents a freedom you do not have – complete social freedom.
Most people on a daily basis are one breath away from a complete meltdown. Next time you go to the grocery store just focus on your breathing and observe everyone you pass. Their eyes will tell you everything. You make eye contact and they immediately look away. Even “Alpha Males” who are tall and appear strong are crumbling beneath the weight of social pressure. I can say from putting this one exercise into practice that most people have the look of fear and anxiety in their eyes. It’s a chronic wide spread condition effecting a large portion of the population.
It’s important to know that you’re not alone and others feel exactly how you do.
Only you notice your fuck ups
The problem with the social anxiety sufferer is they magnify their mistakes to gargantuan levels. They will say something and immediately scold themselves for sounding stupid, or they replay over and over again the right thing they should have said. This is called neuroticism. The truth is, nobody cares and nobody even noticed what you said. Most people are, once again, so consumed by their own bullshit and ego that your mistakes don’t even make it on to their radar.
Knowing that people are so consumed by their own actions smashes the chains by which you are bound. You think everyone is watching you closely but they are really self monitoring themselves to ensure they are projecting a well manufactured and appropriate image. Believe me, most people are so stifled you wouldn’t believe it.
You are worthy of attention
Deep down you have to crown yourself worthy of attention from others. Maybe you don’t speak up because you don’t think anyone will listen or you don’t think you have anything good to contribute. This is bullshit. Build your confidence up and speak your mind. Sure, you might bomb a few times but the simple practice of speaking your mind will transform your social life. In fact, you’ll be amazed at how many people listen to you when you speak with confidence and conviction. I know a number of guys who can dominate a room despite being complete idiots just because they speak loudly and with authority. Deep down, these guys feel like what they say has value. As a result, their words come across as valuable to others even though on the surface it’s complete dog shit. Use this knowledge to dominate social interactions with the things you find interesting.
3 nootropics for social anxiety
Perhaps you know I’ve been in the nootropics scene for a number of years. I’ve experimented with most of the nootropics on the market and have identified several that help smooth out social anxiety and give you a level of peace and tranquility.
Here we go…
Once again! I love this nootropic so much. It’s like a swiss army knife of value and benefits. I find Piracetam completely crushes my social anxiety and turns me into an icy talking machine who could give two shits about social repercussions. Piracetam helps me form ideas and lends a certain elegance to my words. Often times I will say something and then immediately go…
“Damn, that sentence was smooth as silk.”
On Piracetam you feel confident and intelligent. You never seem to run out of things to say with people and it induces a sense of calm confidence. It has the ability to turn me into the loudest ape in the room, as I call it. (Everybody knows that one person who is always loud and commands all the attention.) I will often times go on a tear of bullshitting with someone in public not even noticing I’ve attracted the attention of the entire room. Everybody wants a piece of the action when you’re high energy and high vibration. People can sense when you are calm and simply speaking from a place of enjoyment. I’ts magnetizing. Highly recommended stuff for social anxiety.
L Theanine is a must have nootropic for calm energy. It literally produces alpha brain waves. There’s a peaceful serenity vibe going on with L Theanine and I recommend taking at least 600mg. This stuff stacks powerfully with Piracetam, adding on to your confidence and feeling calm, cool, and collected at all times.
I like Phenibut. No. I LOVE Phenibut. Phenibut completely crushes all forms of anxiety and transforms you into Tony Robbins. You’ll be chatting up everybody like they’re your best friend. What I don’t like about Phenibut is the addictive nature and potential for abuse. I’m all about using nootropics to help you achieve your social goals but I group Phenibut into the same circle as alcohol. Sure, you’re going to be more social but it’s really just a crutch. With that said, Phenibut is extremely powerful stuff.
Social anxiety is a problem but it’s something you can get past. I recommend picking up the above nootropics and putting them to the test. I particularly like the Piracetam + L Theanine combo because you can properly encode lessons you learn along the way, all while MAJORLY reducing the physical and mental symptoms of social anxiety.
Social anxiety is a large topic but I hope I covered a lot of ground here and exposed you to some basic truths about its nature. Thanks for reading and catch you next time.
Join up for exclusive giveaways!
Enter your email address to qualify for my monthly nootropic giveaways