Are you struggling with fear of people and you’re looking for ways to overcome it so you can be more confident around people.
Has your fear of people interfered with your daily life and ruined your social relationships?
Do you find it difficult to speak up especially in public or large gatherings?
The fear of people is a mental condition that makes you anxious around people.
Either as a business owner, entrepreneur, CEO, employee, or just a regular individual, the fear of people can affect you in so many ways.
Firstly, it makes you lose your confidence around people.
Also, the fear of people can make it difficult for you to speak up in important situations.
Overall, the fear of people can ruin your chances of achieving success in all aspects of life.
Therefore, you need to overcome this fear so you can be your best self around people, build more social relationships, and achieve success in whatever you do.
How to Overcome Fear Of People
Before we move on to discuss how to overcome the fear of people, let’s try to understand what it is all about.
The fear of people is just one of the many fears such as fear of starting a business, fear of heights, fear of public speaking among others that people struggle with.
Just as one can learn to overcome these other fears with effective strategies and having a change of mindset, you can also learn to overcome the fear of people.
However, before then, let’s take a look at the following points;
- Understanding the fear of people
- Signs of anthropophobia (the fear of people).
- Causes of anthropophobia
- How the fear of people affects your life
Understanding The Fear Of People
What is the fear of people?
Fear of people is a mental state of being anxious and uncomfortable around people.
The medical term used to describe this situation is Anthropophobia.
The fear of people could be one of the signs of Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD).
People suffering from social anxiety disorder are extremely afraid of being around people especially in social situations.
This could be because they are afraid of being embarrassed, humiliated, or criticized.
Furthermore, this situation is different from being shy or reserved in public neither is this condition peculiar to introverts alone.
A severe case of anthropophobia would require diagnosis and treatment by a mental health professional.
How can you tell that you’re struggling with the fear of people?
What are the signs?
Signs Of Anthropophobia
The fear of people (anthropophobia) is usually associated with excessive anxiety around people.
Even more, certain behavioral patterns further tell that a person is struggling with anthropophobia.
You can tell that you’re struggling with the fear of people if you do the following.
- avoid social gatherings
- avoid eye contact when talking to people
- can’t speak up in public places
- Are anxious about talking to people because you don’t want to be judged or humiliated
- Are afraid to speak your mind or air your view/opinions.
- always have nausea, shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, and intense sweating each time you stand before people
- freeze up when asked to speak to someone
- get all worked up and tensed when you have to speak to someone
These are some of the manifestations of the fear of people(anthropophobia).
Hence, if you experience any of these, it means you might be struggling with anthropophobia and you need to overcome it.
Let’s also consider some of the causes of anthropophobia.
What leads to the fear of people?
Factors That Lead To Anthropophobia
Why do people fear other people?
After all, they’re just people and not monsters.
Most times there could be no specific reason why people develop anthropophobia.
However, research suggests that a combination of genetic, environmental, and other physical factors could lead to anthropophobia.
Some of these factors include;
- Negative events or past occurrences (for example, previous events where the individual has been embarrassed, humiliated, or rejected by people).
- Growing up with excessively harsh parents, family members, and relatives.
- Brain damage or malfunctioning
- Unpleasant physical appearance among other factors.
Now you know what leads to anthropophobia.
Let’s move on to consider why the fear of people is bad and why you should try to overcome it.
How Anthropophobia Affects You
How does the fear of people affect you?
It is common knowledge that fear can be good and bad.
The fear that is deemed good is that type that makes you flee from danger and/or life-threatening situations such as fear of poisonous substances.
On the other hand, there’s the kind of fear that makes you anxious about normal situations.
The fear of people belongs to this category.
Why this kind of fear is bad is that it prevents you from being the best you can be and realizing your true potential.
Besides that, there are so many ways in which your fear of people is affecting you right now and would affect you in the future if you don’t try to overcome it.
The fear of people can affect you physically, emotionally, and mentally.
- It’s making you lack self-confidence.
- Also, it leads to anxiety and depression.
- It’s preventing you from creating and keeping meaningful social relationships.
- It’s making it difficult for you to pursue your dreams (as a business owner, how do you expect to promote your business if you’re struggling with anthropophobia).
- Furthermore, it prevents you from leading a happy and fulfilled life.
- It makes you prone to being bullied and taunted (this is because you can’t speak up for yourself).
- Even more, it’ll make you live a life of limitation (you’ll be unable to try new things, meet people and socialize).
Overall, the fear of people just like any other fear keeps you stuck and often leads to you living a depressed and lonely life.
Now you understand what the fear of people (anthropophobia) is all about, let’s discover how to overcome it.
How To Treat Anthropophobia (The Fear Of People)
How can anthropophobia be treated?
See A Mental Health Professional
In a severe case of anthropophobia/social anxiety disorder, you should get help from a mental health professional.
There’s no specific medication or procedure that could be prescribed specially for anthropophobia.
However, there are certain therapies (such as talking, exposure, and relaxation therapy) for phobias and anxiety disorders that could be used to treat the fear of people.
Therefore, if you’ve noticed any of the signs of anthropophobia above, you should consider seeing a mental health professional for treatment.
Thus, helping you overcome your fear of people.
Apart from seeing a mental health professional, there are certain things you could do to get rid of your fear of people in less severe cases.
Helpful Tips On How To Overcome The Fear Of People
Here are some suggestions on how you can overcome your fear of people and become more confident as a business owner, entrepreneur, or a regular individual.
1Face Your Fears
Running away or avoiding your fears doesn’t solve anything (it doesn’t take them away).
It only makes you feel better/safe temporarily.
Afterward, when faced with the same situation it comes back.
Staying away from people would not help you overcome your fear of people.
It only aggravates it.
What you need to do is to be around people more and as time goes on you’ll begin to feel less anxious around people.
This is called exposure therapy.
Research shows that exposing a subject (person) to the object of fear over time can help anxiety subside.
Thereby, making the person comfortable being in such a situation.
So, to overcome your fear of people, rather than avoid speaking to or meeting people, speak to or meet at least one new person every day.
At first, this might be a very difficult thing to do.
However, with time, you’ll become more comfortable being around people.
Thus, helping you overcome the fear of people.
2Let Go Of Past Experiences
One of the reasons people struggle with anthropophobia is bitter past experiences.
For instance, someone might feel anxious standing before people to talk due to previous situations where he/she has been embarrassed or criticized.
So, to prevent a reoccurrence of such experience and having to relive the painful moments, they try hard to avoid being in such situations again.
You may have had similar experiences (you’ve been embarrassed, ridiculed, bullied, or criticized) in the past.
Furthermore, as a result of those experiences, you’ve developed a certain level of anxiety being around people.
To overcome the fear of people, you need to let go of such painful experiences.
Forget the past and focus on the present moment.
Holding on the past would do nothing but hurt you the more and prevent you from making progress in life.
Thereby, making it difficult for you to overcome your fear of people.
Hence, let go of the past (see them as a learning experience).
Learn to live in the present moment, be open to meeting new people, and creating more meaningful social/personal relationships.
Practice they say makes perfect.
Another thing you could do to help you overcome your fear of people is to do self-practice.
By this, we mean standing in front of a mirror and talking to yourself like you were talking to someone else.
You could also stand in front of an empty chair and pretend there’s someone sitting on that chair that you’re having a conversation with.
This is something most public speakers do frequently to get rid of their anxiety before talking to people.
It is also an effective way people use to get rid of their anxiety before any major presentation.
You could also do this to help you overcome your fear of people.
For instance, you could do this daily before stepping out of your house in the morning to prepare you for an interactive day with other people.
By constantly putting this simple exercise to practice, you’ll get used to it and you’ll become less anxious about talking to people.
Consequently, helping you overcome the fear of people.
4Challenge Negative thoughts
Most times anxiety springs from negative thoughts about a particular situation or occurrence.
It’s possible that you’re finding it difficult to overcome your fear of people because you’re thinking of all the negative things that might happen to you.
You’re thinking what if I get embarrassed at that event?
What if they don’t like me?
What if I get judged negatively?
Or what if I get humiliated?
All these negative thoughts would only make you feel reluctant to interact with people.
Thereby, making it difficult for you to overcome your fear of people.
So, rather than think of negative things/situations that might happen, challenge your negative thoughts with positive thoughts.
For instance, rather than think of the possibility of being humiliated at a social event, think of all the wonderful people you could meet.
Moreso, think of all the meaningful relationships you can create that could help you both in the present and future.
Thus making you see the need to interact with people and helping you overcome your fear of people.
5Build Courage And Confidence
Another thing you need to know on how to overcome your fear of people is to build courage and confidence.
You might be struggling with the fear of people because you lack courage and confidence.
Courage is having the ability to face your fears.
Confidence is having faith in yourself and your capabilities.
It is usually very difficult for a courageous and confident person to live in fear.
Rather a confident person is always open to meeting people and building relationships.
Even more, a confident person rarely finds it difficult to talk to people or speak up when necessary.
So, one of the things you could do to get over your fear of people is to build the courage to face your fears and self-confidence.
Some tips on how to build courage and self-confidence include;
- Doing a power pose every morning
- Take up new challenges
- Practice self-care (exercise, eat healthily, dress well, etc)
- Practice gratitude (among other things).
6Avoid Social Isolation
Social isolation means having partial or no contact/communication with other people.
As earlier stated, running away or avoiding a problem doesn’t solve it.
Likewise, isolating yourself would not help you get over your fear of people.
It would only make you feel lonely and mentally depressed.
Thereby, worsening your condition.
Hence, to overcome your fear of people, avoid social isolation.
Instead of staying in isolated places (away from people) to avoid dealing with your anxiety of being around people, be around people more.
Surround yourself with positive people (family, friends, and relatives).
7Don’t Forget To Breathe
Doing breathing exercises is a great way to overcome anxiety.
A lot of people take deep breaths when faced with so much anxiety.
This helps to calm their nerves, clear their head and put them in a sound state of mind.
You can also use this simple exercise to overcome your fear of people.
Whenever you’re about to meet someone or people (maybe give a speech) do some breathing exercises.
Take deep breathes for about 3-5 minutes to help you get rid of your anxiety.
Even more, you could incorporate it into your daily routine.
Take out 10-15 minutes of your time every day to do some breathing exercises.
This would help you get rid of your daily anxieties and also help you overcome your fear of people.
Final Thoughts on How To Overcome Fear Of People
The fear of people or anthropophobia as it is called can affect different aspects of life.
As a business owner/entrepreneur you’ll need to interact with a lot of people for the purpose of running your business.
How do you expect to do this if you struggle with the fear of people?
Furthermore, as a leader in an organization, you’ll deal with people.
How do you expect to lead effectively, if you’re anxious around people?
Even more, as an employee, it would be impossible for you to function effectively as part of any team in an organization if you keep struggling with the fear of people.
In simple terms, the fear of people can ruin your life completely if you let it.
Hence, the need for you to solve this problem.
Use these tips above to help you overcome your fear of people.
Also, remember that in severe cases of anthropophobia it is seriously advised that you seek professional help from a mental health professional.
There are certain therapies that are used for treating phobia that could be applied to treat anthropophobia.
Bear in mind that changing habits takes a lot of commitment and patience so also would changing your behavioral pattern in this aspect.
Hence, don’t feel discouraged if you don’t notice immediate changes.
With your commitment, consistency, and careful practice, you’ll find that your fear of people is slowly fading away and that you’re becoming more comfortable around people.
How has the fear of people affected your life?
We would love to hear from you.
Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.