Up to 40% of people consider themselves shy. If you get nervous in social situations—meeting your partner’s friends, public speaking, standing awkwardly in the elevator with your boss—you’ve probably been told, “Just be yourself!” But that’s easier said than done—especially if you’re prone to social anxiety.
Dr. Ellen Hendriksen, creator of the award-winning podcast Savvy Psychologist (downloaded more than 14 million times!), has crafted HOW TO BE YOURSELF: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety (St. Martin’s Griffin, $16.99, on-sale: May 14, 2019), a groundbreaking book that blends science, concrete tips, and real-life stories. Available in paperback for the first time, HOW TO BE YOURSELF now features a brand new conversation with Susan Cain, bestselling author Quiet.
HOW TO BE YOURSELF encourages readers to utilize the many useful gifts that come with anxiety: conscientiousness, careful thinking, empathy, and deep care and consideration for others, all must-have skills for navigating today’s society.
In an interview, Dr. Hendriksen can discuss:
- how social anxiety is more common than it seems, with 40% of people identifying as socially anxious and 13% of people meeting diagnostic criteria for Social Anxiety Disorder
- why social anxiety is on the rise, especially among adolescents and millennials
- how the use of smartphones, social media, and technology drives social anxiety
- how social anxiety is different from introversion and how it’s possible to be a socially anxious extrovert
- why, in socially anxious moments, we do the exact thing we’re worried about, like spill our drink or trip over our feet (plus how to stop)
- why the actions we take to try to make ourselves feel better actually make our anxiety worse
- how perfectionism drives social anxiety and how to lower the bar
- how gaining confidence really works
- why, as a species, we are hardwired to have insecurities
- how mindfulness can help alleviate social anxiety
- how, according to fMRI brain scans, the opposite of being socially anxious is being a psychopath
- why “Just be yourself” is terrible advice, and why you should do it anyway
- what it really means to be “authentic” or to “be yourself”
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