Are you Just Overthinking Or Do You Have Social Anxiety?


The Difference Between Overthinking and Social Anxiety

Do you overthink a lot?

I swear I do.  A lot.

A whole lot.

One of the things that comes up most often when you have social anxiety is overthinking.

This is the root of all those fearful emotions and negative feelings when you are going to be around other people.

You wonder if they will like you.

Or will they think you’re weird.

Or will they notice that you chipped a nail?

Or will you be alone the entire time that everyone –except you – have someone to talk to?

While they can be linked, overthinking is not the same thing as social anxiety. Here are some things to consider so you understand the difference.

Shyness and Social Anxiety


Being shy is TOTALLY DIFFERENT from having social anxiety.

It is definitely possible to suffer from shyness and social anxiety.

But you can be shy but not socially anxious.

Like me.

Shyness is more about feeling a little vulnerable around new people.                            

I always have to bring someone with me when I go to an event.

During seminars, I have to talk to a participant, meet up elsewhere, and then go together to that seminar.

I have a major fear of entering a place with people I don’t know, you see.

But I get over it and would open up with these new people immediately.

I also have phases where I feel I am fine and okay with other people, even if I don’t actually talk to them.

With someone who has social anxiety, it is totally different.

Any social situation is a fear event.

Seriously.  Simple things like walking down the street or ordering at a fast food counter makes a person with social anxiety shrink in fear.

It is not just talking to people.

It is being around them in general that becomes debilitating.

When anxiety kicks in and I swear I would like to swear on somebody else’s face, I take refuge in this SWEAR COLORING BOOK! This coloring book makes me laugh as I relieve all my anxiety.

Identifying Overthinking

People with social anxiety ALMOST ALWAYS OVERTHINK.

Overthinking leads to fear.

But like I said, OVERTHINKING and SOCIAL ANXIETY are not always the same thing.

Some people (like me) simply overthink things, but can calm myself down enough to handle situation.

This irreverently funny coloring book never fails to calm me down:

For people with social anxiety, handling social situations is much more difficult to handle, EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT OVERTHINKING TOO MUCH.

But overthinking is definitely within the realm of social anxiety.

Overthinking makes your thoughts get the better of you.

You obsess on things that could or could not happen.

This leads to feelings of anxiety, worry, and fear.

When you can identify how this starts, you will hopefully find a way to reduce your anxiety as well.

How Overthinking and Social Anxiety Can Be Related

Overthinking can worsen your social anxiety symptoms.

Perhaps you have this generalized fear of being around large groups of people, but can usually get through it okay as long as you have the right mindset.

On the other hand, if you tend to overthink, you are worried about what people will say, do, or think, that they will judge you, and then all those worries and fears come up to the surface and make your anxiety a lot worse.

This is often where the panic attacks come from.