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

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4.10  ·  Rating details ·  6,051 ratings  ·  493 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
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Kindle Edition, 262 pages
Published March 13th 2018 by St. Martin's Press
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Sunmi Ojewumi No it gets better and practical. I was also bored by the story and stopped listening after the first chapter but someone recommended it to me again, s…moreNo it gets better and practical. I was also bored by the story and stopped listening after the first chapter but someone recommended it to me again, so I gave it another shot. The book stops dwelling on their stories and starts giving practical advice. Highly recommend you keep listening! (less)
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Amanda
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
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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
Tayla
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
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Candie
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.
Leen
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.
Sarah
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
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.
Ada
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
Nicole
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
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Susie
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.
Robin
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
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Kelly
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.
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
Laura
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
K.V. Wilson
Mar 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Can I give this 6 stars? I read Quiet by Susan Cain as well, and it was interesting to learn about the way introverts' brains work. This book, however, gives solutions to the problems social anxiety causes. The approach is friendly and funny. This is clearly coming from someone who knows exactly how we feel and what to say to inspire us and give us confidence. It's a toolbox of helpful material - little step-by-step (and realistic and specific) things we can do to make life easier and more enjoy ...more
Alice
Jan 22, 2022 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I give this 3 stars because like *all* self help books the actual practical advice could be summarised on 2 pages and save a lot of time... I always hate the "patient" anecdotes used to pad things out and skimmed through all of them, and a lot of the other repetitive or common sense sections to get to the bits I found helpful. There is a lot of padding and this is not a long book!

Also note this book probably won't contain any new information unless you have never read any books of articles on So
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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
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.
rosal_e
Jun 19, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this one a few years ago, but it has stuck with me so much that even though it feels a bit personal, I wanted to leave a little review here.

Firstly, I love Ellen Hendriksen. I had already been listening to her reasonable, compassionate, to-the-point advice for years. She used to be the host of the Savvy Psychologist podcast. So when I found out that she wrote a book I was already intrigued. When I saw that it was about social anxiety, I had to snatch it up.

I started reading it naively th
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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.
Haylie
Aug 08, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
hello. if you have social anxiety like muah, this book is for you. funny and helpful. she uses a lot of experiences including Brandon's from Humans of New York! I feel like I learned more about myself and how to look at things from a different perspective. it was refreshing and I will incorporate a lot of the things it taught into my life ...more
Alina
Aug 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great read.
Going through the book I reflected to a lot of experiences and identified both some of my mistakes and some moments when I was on the right track. It really provides good practices and I hope I will be able to experiment at least a few times all the points presented in order to figure out what suits me best.
Definitely a book that I will keep close and re-read for guidance.
Thank you, Ellen Hendriksen!
Katie
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.
Elizabeth Tait
Feb 06, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you suffer from social anxiety, I cannot recommend this book enough. Everything Hendriksen discussed made me feel so seen and resonated with me so deeply. I also loved how this wasn’t just a cliche self help book, but instead gave truly useful advice backed up with research and real life examples. I feel like she really understood what goes on in the minds of people with social anxiety and I appreciated how real it all was
Jackie
Nov 11, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be really practical and helpful. There’s so much in here that I suspect anyone with any level of social anxiety could find at least one resonant piece. Would absolutely recommend it to friends.
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
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Muhamed
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
A Very Bad Apple
I had absolutely no idea how much i needed this one. If you suffer from social anxiety or other types of anxiety disorders then you should definitely read this book too. It helped me tremendously.
Nicole
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
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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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