Handbook of Social and Evaluation Anxiety

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For a long time I have wanted to put together a book about sodal and evaluation anxiety. Sodal-evaluation anxiety seemed to be a stressful part of so many people's everyday experience. It also seemed to be apart of so many of the clinical problems that I worked with. Common terms that fit under this rubric include fears of rejection, humiliation, critidsm, embarrassment, ridicule, failure, and abandonment. Examples of sodal and evaluation anxiety include shyness; sodal inhibition; sodal timidity; public speaking anxiety; feelings of self-consdousness and awkwardness in sodal situations; test anxiety; perfor- mance anxiety in sports, theater, dance, or music; shame; guilt; separation anx- iety; sodal withdrawal; procrastination; and fear of job interviews or job evalua- tions, of asking someone out, of not making a good impression, or of appearing stupid, foolish, or physically unattractive. In its extreme form, sodal anxiety is a behavior disorder in its own right- sodal phobia. This involves not only feelings of anxiety but also avoidance and withdrawal from sodal situations in which scrutiny and negative evaluation are antidpated. Sodal-evaluation anxiety also plays a role in other clinical disorders. For example, people with agoraphobia are afraid of having a panic attack in public in part because they fear making a spectacle of themselves. Moreover, even their dominant terrors of going crazy or having a heart attack seem to reflect a central concern with sodal abandonment and isolation.