Social Anxiety in a Video Conferencing World
How can you manage social anxiety when video conferencing is the new normal way to communicate and be social?
With the sudden onset of a pandemic and “social distancing”, we’ve all been suddenly thrown into a world with a “new normal” social situation!
While you try to catch up on what the social norms are during this “new normal” it’s also necessary to recognize it’s a “new normal” for all of us – many people haven’t interacted virtually over video conferencing before… so be gentle with yourself and your expectations.
For online interactions, some of the same social norms exist, and some new norms are forming. Stay tuned until the end of this post where we’ll share a free printable CBT handout!
Here’s a list of some current social skills you may want to check and practice:
Social Skills for Video Conferencing
• Ask what platform people would like to talk on
Phone, FaceTime, Zoom, Snapchat? Giving options and becoming familiar with the options yourself will increase your new 2020 social skills development
• Check in to make sure the person’s technology is working and of course if they have time to talk.
Because of increasing home demands and decreasing privacy at times, people generally need more check ins and permission to end calls if needed.
• Accept and expect interruptions graciously
Since those with families are self-isolating all together, there are likely to be more interruptions during times that previously may have been uninterrupted (like during school or daytime hours).
• Try to bring humour to uncomfortable situations
Even for yourself if you are fumbling or overwhelmed or stumbling over your words… now is a time we are all experiencing heightened stress, so learn to laugh about it and recover in the moment
• Make eye contact
Making eye contact may mean looking into the camera rather than someone’s face, try doing both to give the appearance of making eye contact over video conferencing platforms.
• Focus on the other person, not yourself
If you are a socially self-conscious person then having yourself on screen may seem intimidating or distracting but focusing on the other person will be more beneficial to the relationship. Sure, make one joke about your hair or whatever bothers you about your on-screen image, but then switch your focus to the person. This will enrich the interaction and help them feel heard and listened to.
Your Free Handout
Click this link to view in a new window & download: Maintaining Social Gains in a Virtual World
[You can find more free handouts on our Free CBT Resources page!]
Social Anxiety Gains Virtual World