For most people, worrying about their future job interview is normal and has nothing to do with social anxiety. However, some people experience so much distress at the idea of meeting and interacting with others that they avoid social situations altogether.
Nobody should attempt to diagnose social anxiety on the Internet. The test below is certainly not a diagnostic tool and should be treated as an interactive checklist of social anxiety signs. Please talk to your mental health provider if you have any concerns.
I am constantly concerned about how I come across.
I am afraid that others will humiliate me or embarrass me.
I am not able to do things I really want to do because of my discomfort around other people.
People will probably think I am weird.
When I can’t avoid going to a meeting, I prepare extensively.
I am all sweating, shaking, trembling and blushing red, and others can see it.
Some everyday situations, such as initiating and maintaining conversations, shopping, phone calls, walking down the street, and other situations, are highly distressing for me.
I am worried that I will say something stupid, and people will laugh at me.
I think that others are talking behind my back.
Others will know how I feel because I blush very easily.
I will not know what to say.
I do all my shopping online because I find some parts of offline shopping intimidating (e.g., interacting with a cashier, asking a “stupid” question, being seen by other customers and possibly judged, etc.)
I avoid certain types of people (e.g., people in a position of authority, people I secretly like, people my age who are more successful than me, or other groups of people who possess specific traits).
If I happen to be around others, I avoid talking and/or eye contact.
I am only comfortable interacting with one or two specific people.
For the life of me, I can’t stop stumbling over words.
Sometimes I think about all the opportunities I have missed because of my avoidance of social contact, and that makes me very sad.
Even people who don’t have social anxiety may sometimes exhibit some of the above behaviors. However, if you checked more than one sign AND believe that you are unlikeable or otherwise inadequate, you are more likely to suffer from social anxiety.
Having social anxiety is often associated with the following factors:
- Being bullied or abused as a child
- Having grown up in a family that didn’t socialize much
- Family history of anxiety disorders
- Being very shy as a child
- Certain temperaments are naturally more anxiety-prone than others.
As mentioned above, an Internet test can’t give you any diagnosis. If you feel uncomfortable in any way, consult a mental health professional for more insight into your specific situation.