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Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness


3.80  ·  Rating details ·  543 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness is a self-help manual for this common problem, which explains why it happens and sets out practical methods of resolving it. Everyone sometimes feels foolish, embarrassed, judged or criticised, but this becomes a problem when it undermines their confidence and prevents them doing what they want to do.

This easy-to-use guide, full of rea
Paperback, 259 pages
Published May 27th 1999 by Robinson (first published 1999)
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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Jonathan-David Jackson
Jun 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book seems to be filled with lots of great, useful information. It contains a complete plan for freeing yourself from social anxiety. The only problem is that I'm too lazy to follow all the steps, so I will soon be checking out the book Overcoming Laziness. ...more
Leonard Gaya
May 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Who has never felt awkward, out of place or otherwise inhibited when relating to other people? I, for one, plead guilty! The aim of this book, which (as stated in the sub-title) is a self-help manual, is to shed some light on this rather widespread psychological phenomenon that, generally speaking, we refer to a “shyness”.

It is in fact a form of anxiety disorder, meaning: a feeling of distress that is out of proportions considering the actual situation we are in. Each individual is sensitive to
Somewhere round about page two hundred I found this was getting too difficult to read and I was obliged to turn to rereading Kafka's The Trial instead for some light relief. Now I am not sure if it was just one particular thing that I found painful or the abrasive effect of two hundred pages catching at me.

This book is part of a series - although a completely freestanding book - that apparently some Doctor's practises in the UK are providing / or recommending (view spoiler)
Jan 04, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I've struggled with social anxiety for the longest of times. My therapist recommended this book to me to read alongside my CBT sessions and to use as a general guide for my life.
It's weird, because I've never been able to speak about this. Mainly due to the fact that I never knew I had social anxiety till the end of last year. And due to my sessions, I've seen such a vast improvement within myself.

All to say that, if you're struggling with your mental health, it is okay and that the best thing y
May 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first time I've read a self-help book and I found it immensely helpful, especially when utilized alongside therapy, my men's support group, and daily writing and journaling. The book is focused on helping you overcome social anxiety and shyness, as you might be able to guess from the title. It does a pretty good job, presenting the tools of cognitive behavioral therapy in very simple and effective ways, and backed up with plenty of exercises and hands-on activities so you can put the ...more
Julio Bonilla
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Being relaxed is an attitude as well as the result of learning…

This book really brought me back to learning how to behave outside. This was after my trauma in Peru, back on January, 1987. I'd been comatose for 3 weeks, so it was urgent that my dad and I return to San Francisco to get me some real help at UCSF. Fast-forward to 2012, when I was diagnosed with AD/HD at Kaiser... 🏥

I was very shy my freshman year of high school. Of course, I'd answer back if someone asked me a question that led to c

Kasandra Mavrigiannaki
Although I skimmed through quite a bit of a bit because it wasn't entirely relevant to me, there is some really useful information and tactics to use. ...more
Ana-Maria Petre
May 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: never-finished
Not bad, but could have said the same things in much fewer words.
Tian Liang
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pretty good book in general. I loved the tips shared between the pages on how to deal with shyness and social anxiety, and loved the fact that they distinguished between it and social anxiety. However, one thing that I have to disagree is the point-of-view that bullies have high self-esteem. Very much on the contrary, bullies are people with high self-esteem. They feel really good about themselves! And they are charismatic, they are confident, and they're cool. I mean, in social psychology studi ...more
Susan Baumgartner
Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Biased, inaccurate thinking can include: predicting faults ahead of time, mind-reading and catastrophizing during an event, and dwelling on a post mortem after an event. Have to agree there.
Lots of useful information in this book to help explain the hazards, and ways to prevent, living in a personal world ruled by anxiety. I'd give it 5 stars if it came with a therapist who'd followup with you to make sure you write in your journal regularly like you're supposed to. :-)
Alexandru Somesan
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Being curious about psychology, but also a slightly socially anxious person, I decided to give this book a try. I loved how the author's approach is based on cognitive-behavioral therapy - which is basically about the continuous interaction between thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Some key points of the book:
- Learn to recognize your patterns of anxiety (when it happens, how it manifests etc.) and set your expectations accordingly (e.g. "My public speech will not be perfect");
- Understand and w
Nov 15, 2014 added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I guess I've finished reading this (although I wasn't really reading it linearly), as I've finally had to hand it back to the library after starting work there a week ago, so that none of my colleagues would find out I'd been reading a self help book (the horror! the shame!). So perhaps the book didn't work 100% lol : ))

But still! Fairly solid advice, based on CBT, which I knew the gist of but it was nice to have worked through examples that were applicable to me. I found a lot of the exercises
Jun 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology, health
Social anxiety and shyness is different for everyone, and Gillian covers many different causes and triggers that you might experience. Things you might never have thought of, like your own safety behaviors and inward attention are very helpful at getting a handle on your personal situation. With step-by-step guidance, you'll learn to change your thinking patterns, do things differently, reduce self-consciousness, and build self-confidence.

Finding an ebook version took some work. Amazon seems to
Sam Bloom
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Arguably the worst titled and cover of a book I've read. However whats contained is some of the most valuable and thought out material. It's well laid out, providing the theory behind shyness and social anxiety before going into practical steps. Reading this book won't make you the life and soul of a party or turn you into some great oral speaker. But if followed right it will dismantle these cognitions/thoughts that for some are so detrimental and undermining. It's scary to think that such thou ...more
Jun 27, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I couldn't even get into this book. I tried reading this with my partner and even he had difficulty. I thought that the first chapter was just packed with too much information and the author was trying to cram in everything she knew into one sentence. It was not very well written at all, so if you want a simple straight to book I don't recommend this book! ...more
Stine Fleming
Jun 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sengebord
I've read the Danish version, in that translation the style was very American and the examples seemed very American, but the gist of the matter was clear and the tools were very helpful, once you start aktually using them on a regular basis. I definitly reccommend it to people struggling with anxieties concerning how you percieve others percieving you :-) ...more
Jun 16, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: medical
Having had Cognitive Behavioural Therapy treatment, , and then reading this book, i found it not much help at all, sorry to say.
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Definitely very useful in terms of gaining an understanding in depth of social anxiety, personally, I found it a bit tricky to read.
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Reading this book, gave me a very nice understanding of social anxiety. There were some anxieties in me, that I hadn’t noticed before. But while reading the book, I figured that Oh I have that too! And I understood how ridicules some of them are. I even didn’t know they exist, but then I could totally analyze them and see how some of them are funny. Another good thing about this book was knowing that I’m not the only person experiencing these anxieties. It was really hopeful knowing that there a ...more
Sukanya Arora
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Being a clinician, I can totally vouch for this one. It’s totally a wonder to me that a self-help book can decipher scientific, psychological techniques with such simplicity and applicability. Recommend it to anyone and everyone who feel that their life is diminished by the weight of the fear of social situations.

I have read the Overcoming Depression, and this one from the Overcoming series. I wish to pick up the ‘Overcoming Body Dysmorphic Disorder or Body Image Problems’

Totally competent, sc
Hazel Griffin
Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From reading this book I have discovered/discovering that it's ok to be me, to be shy and to find ways of working with it. I have been socially anxious from a child and it's so hard to change habits that you've built up over years and that you didn't even realise you were doing in the first place. I have just finished reading this book and will now go back over the chapters about helping myself and practice the worksheets. I highly recommend this book if you struggle with interacting with people ...more
Consuelo Elorza
Apr 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a woman with anxiety disorder i totally recommend this book. It really helped and will continue be a useful help in the process of healing. Also, it has powerful ideas that become useful tools for all the lifespan.
Oct 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dina Megahed
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
With this book, I've experienced the pain of refreshing the wounds and the comfort of seeing them getting ready to heal.
It was really helpful.
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really did get some important insights from this book. Now all I have to do is to actually use the techniques mentioned in the book :D
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I like these kinds of practical book. Helpful for myself. Can also help others.

In one word, all the suggestions in this book say: find the truth, and help ourselves with love.
Dave Stansbury
Jan 15, 2021 rated it liked it
Not much this years ago...
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found the author's writing style extremely difficult to follow. The book is full of long, rambling sentences that start on one point and finish on another entirely different one. The punctuation was terrible. Reading this book was an infuriating experience, especially as I believe the underlying material is quite good. If only it was structured and edited properly! ...more
May 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, I'm about three-quarters of the way through this guide. I've not finished it, and I'm not sure if I will for a while. I tend to consume it when I'm feeling quite low.

This book is split into two parts: the root causes of social anxiety — what perpetuates it. You can skip over this part if you want to, but it isn't recommended. It's quite long, but worth it!
The next is how to combat it. The book provides advice, worksheets, and examples.

I found this guide helpful. It allowed me to recognise
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best self-help book I've read. It's practical and applicable. It's provided with worksheets to write down your thinking patterns and follow your progress. CBT sounds scientific and well-researched. I will read the book again at a slower pace to get the most out of it and apply the work step by step. ...more
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