Being Proactive During the Week is a Part of Getting Better

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 15:30 -- tim henry

Here's what happened yesterday and the day before:

Saturday 02/16/2013 

On Saturday, two group members went to a Halo tournament where they played against two other people in a multiplayer match.  This required a lot of proactivity because they had to talk with the event hosts regarding rules and make small talk with all the other participants.  Later that night, three group members went to a nightclub and were able to get out on the dance floor.  Many people with SA have trouble going to nightclubs and bars, so going with group members is a safe way to work towards overcoming this fear.  

Sunday 02/17/2013

On Sunday, twelve group  members, both new and returning members, went hiking on South Mountain, a large mountain in what was originally the southern part of town.  South Mountain is about 2600 feet tall and has 29 hiking trails through it.  The group members were able to socialize, as well as having the chance to work on 
outside behavioral experiments, like saying hello  or carrying on a short conversation to strangers who were also walking on the trail.  

Later in the evening, some of the group members went to a dance lesson at one of the larger dance studios.  Dance lessons are very proactive because the group members have a chance to work on their self-consciousness  as well as making small talk with their dance partners.  Learning to relax (as much as possible), and focus externally on what is being done are powerful strategies to put into place.  Dancing is a great social skill to learn and feel comfortable about doing.  The secret to beginning this activity is to have group members with you to keep you grounded and rational, and to reinforce to you that you were actually fine (and looked fine) when you were taking the lesson.   Everyone taking the lesson was a beginner anyway.

A big component of overcoming social anxiety is to participate in group social and behavioral experiments.