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If we are social creatures, why did social anxiety evolve?

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Posted (edited)

Amidst a year of Zoom fatigue and social interactions that feel like plastic replicas of the real thing, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear just how important sociality is to our well-being.

So it might seem counterintuitive that for many in the U.S., the potential for summer to bring the return of a more “normal” post-pandemic world is also bringing something else: a serious dose of social anxiety.

Erin Tone, a clinical psychologist at Georgia State University, characterizes social anxiety as a set of varied experiences arising from the possibility of a social threat in the environment.

She describes a pattern of responses that run the gamut from physiological (heart pounding, sweating), to cognitive and emotional (thoughts about negative outcomes in a social situation, rising distress), to behavioral (avoidance of the threat).

Full article at Discover magazine: Link

Edited by Eldorado

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