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How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety
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How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  4,180 ratings  ·  343 reviews
Picking up where Quiet ended, How to Be Yourself is the best book you'll ever read about how to conquer social anxiety.

Up to 40% of people consider themselves shy. You might say you're introverted or awkward, or that you're fine around friends but just can't speak up in a meeting or at a party. Maybe you're usually confident but have recently moved or started a new job, on
Kindle Edition, 262 pages
Published March 13th 2018 by St. Martin's Press
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  4,180 ratings  ·  343 reviews

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May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish that I had this book 10 years ago, when I was 20 and trying to figure out who I was. I wish I had this book when I didn't know what was wrong with me, when I thought I was weird or annoying.
Even though this book may be more beneficial to someone in a younger population, no matter who you are, if you experience any social anxiety, you will benefit from reading this. if not, I'm sure you know someone who could.
well written and researched.
*sitting here, after editing this review over and
Renee Amberg
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
AMAZING! A must read! This book has so much valuable information. I (someone with anxiety) resonated a lot with the lessons Hendriksen teaches and was shocked at how relevant these everyday struggles were to the modern day person. The author does a great job at identifying a problem, explaining a way to cope / face it, and then concludes it by giving real life examples from her clients that have overcome their anxiety through her teachings. This book has seriously changed my life for the better ...more
I’m so sad that I finished listening to this audiobook. Listening to How To Be Yourself made me feel less alone in my struggles with social anxiety and made me feel more hopeful about coping with it in the future.

Ellen is a wonderful and compassionate person. The fact that she has also struggled with social anxiety made this book so much better than others I have read about social anxiety, because I know I’m listening to someone who understands exactly how it feels.

I’m pretty sure this book i
Apr 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: absolute-faves
I have always thought my internal thoughts were crazy, but this book mentioned all the things I've felt making it seem less scary. It made me feel less alone; that other people feel the way I feel. I would definitely recommend this to anyone struggling with social anxiety with hopes of breaking out of their mental confinements. I might even buy this book so that I can keep it on hand for refresher courses while on my journey to establish deep rooted confidence. ...more
Jun 18, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be pretty tedious and boring. It basically can be summed up very quickly. To overcome social anxiety, practice putting yourself in situations that make you uncomfortable and stop thinking that you always need to be perfect. Practice makes perfect. Seemed like a lot of words to give such generic advice.
Jessica Lutz
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read for anyone with anxiety, social anxiety, or imposter syndrome.
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm an introvert. I hate large parties. I'm awkward. . . I started reading this book waiting for it to tell me something and it just went on and on with a story about someone. I kept reading/skimming hoping for something. I felt like the information I was trying to find was bogged down in examples and narratives. It was incredibly boring and tedious for me to read so I skimmed and gave up. I wish there was a cliff notes version or that the information was presented in a more direct way. ...more
This had straightforward and useful advice and tips for dealing with social anxiety. It was simple and had loads of great anecdotes to illustrate important points. The author narrated this audiobook. She was a great narrator, but I would have likely benefited from this book more had I read a physical copy and taken notes.
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Social anxiety is self-consciousness on steroids, it highjacks our ability to think, speak and respond."

What can I say, this is my spirit book, the examples and stories are all too familiar. How to Be Yourself is the BEST book on social anxiety and brought so many feels. If like me, you're a socially anxious introvert I highly recommend giving the book a concentrated read. If this is not you, but you have close relations with anyone with social anxiety, this book will provide you with a better
If you read and loved QUIET, you'll want to pick up this book. I don't have social anxiety -- at least that's what I told myself. And for the most part, I don't. But there are definitely situations where I am shy and wish I could be a bit more confident (small talk, parties, etc). Hendriksen's book is the perfect guide for all levels of social anxiety, offering insight and practical tips to better connect with fellow humans. It's funny and approachable, as well as realistic in the "how" of doing ...more
Tarn Wilson
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very helpful book for facing, not just social anxiety, but fears of all kind. Practical. Accessible. Sensible. Compassionate. Wise. With a touch of humor.
Monte Brogdon
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally was able to finish this one! This is a very informative and helpful book for social anxiety and confidence issues. Might even use the tools mentioned in my own life. Definitely worth the read if you have these problems.
Erik Champenois
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What Susain Cain did for introverts in "Quiet," Ellen Hendriksen has done for people with social anxiety. I would even say that introverts who have issues with anxiety would be much better helped by this book than by Cain's. Hendriksen described the social anxiety struggles I've experienced better than anything I've read (though admittedly I don't read a lot of self-help or psychology books), reassured me, gave me mental tools to work with, including helping me to realize how much anxiety overes ...more
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Normally, I can’t make it through nonfiction books, even when they interest me. I find myself skimming and skipping through the pages. However, I read this entire book and loved it. I felt as though the author truly understood social anxiety and what goes through the minds of those who have it. I find myself thinking back to her tips and strategies on dealing with social anxiety, and I truly feel like it’s making a difference in my life. If you have SAD, even in the slightest, I recommend you re ...more
Jul 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Though I don't consider myself socially anxious (most of the time, anyway!), I still found a lot of useful information in this book! I highly recommend it for people who consider themselves shy, but still think most people can get a lot out of reading it. This reminded me a lot of Quiet, but the sequel.

Some things that stuck with me:

We are our own harshest critics. When critiquing ourselves about something you embarrassing you did or said, think, "Would I critique my best friend for this, or te
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book! I felt as if it was written just with me in mind. Hendriksen writes with humor and compassion. How to Be Yourself is a practical guide for us socially anxious beings.
Tanya (aka ListObsessedReader)
I’m not quite sure what to rate this one. Something to reflect on further.

I had to take a large break in the middle of listening to this book as I turned out not to be in the right headspace for the topic. Though I’ve now finished the second half it still wasn’t the right time.

Something to revisit again when I’m in a more resilient headspace.
nerd culture is mainstream now. [jo]
I read this a while ago, but I completely forgot to review it. ;)
My only complaint is that I didn't find it sooner, lol.
This has helped me so much.
I mean it won't "cure" you from social anxiety. But maybe it can help you conquer your mind.
BTW, everything she says is spot on and super scientific- it's not pseudo-sciencey at all :)
Coming at this from a Christian perspective, one thing I'd add is- as a Christian- you are not alone. Even when you completely choke and
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thorough, easy to understand, and interesting enough considering the topic. Gives a lot of great, practical advice and encouragement. I took a ton of notes.
Brandi D'angelo
Sep 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health
For me, some of the best advice came at the very end. Author Ellen Hendriksen explains that it really just all boils down to kindness. "By caring enough, you send into the world your best efforts. By caring enough, you offer the world incredible strength and value." Some advice to those who are socially anxious (which, by the way, doesn't automatically pin you as an introvert, and vice versus,) are to shift your attention outward (on the other person, the environment, your breath,) dare to be av ...more
One of the best books I have read on social anxiety. The book is full of insights, practical tips, scientific basis and at the same time it's very pleasant to read. ...more
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Update: August 12th 2019
Reread: Listened to this on audiobook in preparation for the beginning of my new semester of school and it was still as amazing as last time.

"Be kind, be warm. It might change your life"

5 stars, obviously.

Original review:
"I realized how many opportunities I missed because I was afraid of people rejecting me, but I was just rejecting myself. He paused. I've learned to recognize that pause in client after client, as well as in myself. It was The Moment. Then with wonder
Lawsonia Manhas
Aug 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. If you’re thinking about whether or not to read this book, consider this:

Before I bought this book, I noticed that it had somewhat mixed reviews. This almost stopped me from reading it, but I ultimately decided that I wanted to know for myself whether or not this book was valuable. And so, while I was reading, I tried to think through what might turn people off from it.

One of the things that the author talks about a lot is the Inner Critic. If you’ve read many other self help
Demi Fang
Overall this came at a good time, since I was becoming more aware how my social anxiety might be affecting my professional career. I was practicing for a presentation when I started the book - it was a short presentation but I recognized some of my practice prep techniques in the book afterwards. Author provides assuring reminders throughout that I was perhaps only half aware of.

Important distinction from introversion - introversion is a quality that may very well be part of our authentic selves
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A discussion about social anxiety; what it is, what causes it and what you can do about it. Hendriksen posits that most people experience anxiety in social situations in some form; although it may be different for everyone. She explains the process of anxiety and how it is often narrated by our inner critic who operates on very little evidence to support its claims. This book is not heavy on the science and thus is accessible for anyone and is more of a discussion of the therapy Hendriksen has b ...more
Tangled in Text
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love a good self-help book. I enjoy the chance to spend some time reflecting and self-evaluating. Reading a few of these a year to me is like going to the doctor's office. It becomes a personal, mental checkup seeing how much from a previous book I have put into practice and where I still need help. Each book (each appointment) I measure myself and from there I can see if I've either gained or lost weight. The weight might not be literal, but sometimes when the burden of fears and mental illne ...more
Dec 10, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mental-self-help
Pretty good. I wish I had read it years ago and might have rated four stars if I did.

I think I'm more anxious than most people, but not cripplingly so. However, i think some things do get better with time and exposure and that social situations cause me much less stress in my 40s than they did in my 20s.

The author has some good science and some good practical advice for overcoming anxiety. I liked her, "what's the worst that could happen," technique. She also advocates deliberate practice, whi
Christina Karami
To be fully honest, i can't even vividly recall, how in the first place, i chose this book as my next read. The title's not one of those that usually arouses my interest either. for better or worse i eventually ended up reading it. The title doesn't suggest the content accurately. to say in short, it's about social anxiety and My experiences of this issue, has been a select few. that explains why i wanted to stop reading from some parts on. But surprisingly enough i read the whole book anyways. ...more
De Laura
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've listened to Dr. Hendriksen with her Quick and Dirty Tips Podcast for years and her book is a very well thought out and approachable book to self help, opening up about thought patterns, and an overall positive experience to how to recognize, acknowledge, accept, and practice improvement.

She uses a mix of personal examples, celebrity examples, metaphors, and then in depth research and reasoning to the how and why of social anxiety that builds and comes together through the whole book.

Well wo
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DR. ELLEN HENDRIKSEN is a clinical psychologist who helps millions calm their anxiety and be their authentic selves. She serves on the faculty at Boston University's Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CARD) and is the author of HOW TO BE YOURSELF: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety.

During Ellen’s tenure as founding host of the award-winning podcast, Savvy Psychologist, th

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55 likes · 9 comments
“In truth, you gain confidence by doing things before you're ready, while you're still scared. Go through the motions and your confidence will catch up.' If you wait until you are ready to do the things that scare you because you feel like you aren't ready, you will never get around to doing them. We gain comfort and confidence through being uncomfortable.” 17 likes
“social anxiety is seeing our true self in a distorted way and believing the distortion to be the truth.” 7 likes
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