It is not uncommon to face difficulties or discomfort in response to a particular type of social environment or situation. It is normal to occasionally struggle with communication and/or relationships. However, for some, social difficulties can be a severe and debilitating problem. It can cause problems within relationships and reduce a person’s self-esteem. Social skills describe a broad range of abilities – some of which, you may feel, other people carry out with ease and take for granted. Given social communication is vital in all aspects of life, social difficulties can make it more difficult to succeed in a range of ways, particularly in work and education settings.
Social difficulties can have a severe effect on a person if it develops into social anxiety. Social anxiety describes an extreme preoccupation with being negatively criticised and evaluated by others. This concern can become so great that people begin to avoid social events and other public situations in which they may have to interact with others. If you experience anxiety at the thought of having to socialise, and constantly worry others disapprove or dislike you, you may be experiencing social anxiety.
On the other hand, you may feel confident in social situations, but have received feedback from others about your social skills. For example, friends or colleagues may have commented that you are too outspoken, blunt, or insensitive. Although you make friends quickly, you may be unable to maintain long-term friendships due to conflicts and disagreements. You may struggle to understand where you are going wrong, and wonder why you are repeating negative patterns within your relationships with others. If this is the case, you may need help to understand your social interaction style on a deeper level.
The good news is, social difficulties are treatable. If you feel you will benefit from assistance with social skills, or your social life is starting to take a toll on your ability to function at work or home, seek advice from a Psychologist. Not only will our practitioners provide emotional support and a place for you to release any concerns, but they will also:
- Assess the strengths and weaknesses within your set of social skills
- Provide you with education on your social difficulties and how to overcome them
- Help you to understand your history of social difficulties and how they have led you to this point
- Explore any negative thought patterns which may be contributing to conflict within your relationships
- Help you to reinforce new social skills and strategies to improve your relationships with family, friends and colleagues