What is Social Anxiety?
Characterized by great fear of social situations, being in public or being in any sort of “spotlight”.
It is characterized by
- Avoiding social situations/the public to the point where it interferes with day-to-day life.
- They may drop out of school, refuse to visit friends or family, go to the doctors etc.
- They may be extremely self-conscious, feel as if others are watching them/judging them constantly even people on the street or passer-by’s in a car,
- Being quiet due to being scared to voice their opinion or to talk, insecure of themselves, negative self talk, being overly agreeable because they are scared of conflict with others, being extremely passive when in social situations,
- Excessive worry about social situations and social interactions without reason i.e. can become worried about how a text message they send to others ‘looks’, constantly asks for others opinion/approval in order to know what to do/what to like/ what to say.
What does biological preparedness have to do with the types of phobias most often developed?
A theory in evolutionary psychology believes that humans have an innate predetermined emotional response to certain stimuli due to its potential dangers to our survival. To elaborate, it suggests that our ancestors developed an innate instinct to be fearful of certain stimuli because it could potentially harm them. When we were living more collectively with nature, creatures such as spiders and snakes could potentially harm us. Also, phenomena such as the dark represents the unknown and before humans invented electricity, the dark represented potential danger to us. Therefore, they use this theory of preparedness to explain why the prevalence rate is of phobia is high for these particular things.