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Question
Posted by: Samentha | 2010/09/15

Social Phobia

Dear Dr.
You mentioned that social phobia is not a shy person but a person with social anxienty.My ?''s: I am struggling to read long words, my spelling is not good i will know the word but when i start writing my mind go blank, I am also struggling to have conversation with others due to how i pronounce my words (Young Adult single woman, age 37) I am not shy, i always joke about everything, my children always say i am a sunshine in their life. What could be wrong with me? Please help. Tks Sam

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Once upon a time people only called it shyness. And of course some of us are more shy than others. Then a specific disorder where it was really severe, was called Social Phobia, and that condition was later re-named Social Anxiety Disorder.
Now you seem at first to be describing simply a well-known efect of anxiety. If you're not bothered by how well you are performing - maybe you're reading a magazine at home, for instance, you'd probably just think a bit, and puzzle it out. If you're at work, or someone is watching or listening, when you have some basis for feeling anxious that they might think less fo you if you don't manage it, you get anxious, and the task may become far more difficult for you.
That's how anxiety decreases our performance, and yes, it can be part of social anxiety.
And similarly, you may talk fluently, but be self-conscious about how you pronounce words.
Now, counselling of the CBT form, and some medications also used to treat depression may remove the anxiety.
Also, one can try to remedy the things you feel self-conscious about. Its become harder for many people to learn to pronounce things well because they hear so many bad examples of things being pronounced badly, and so many good examples.
One can try, depending on what TV channels one gets, or what movies one can choose to seem to watch channels like the BBC News where you'll hear people from different cultural backgrounds, generally pronouncing things well. Reading magazines with actual articles rather than celebrity gossip, will give one more chance to see a wider range of words used in a context that helps you to understand them and see their spelling. There may be some adult edcation classes that could be helpful on such matters, too.
Trying to pronounce things well is not a snobby, showing-off thing, but helps us commnicate more effectively with each other.
For instance, shopping last week, I accidentally dropped by credit card. A very nice cashier noticed this and called loudly to me, what sounded to me like "You're Cut !" I checked, but could find no cuts and no bleeding. Then as she repeated herself, I wondered if it was "Your Cart !", but saw nothing wrong with that. Only when she pointed and I saw the card, did I realize what she meant. The way she said it was with a very short vowel sound, very like CUT, and without the longer caaarrd sound I had expected. Similarly, it's becoming usual to pronounce :"Live" ( where you stay ) as "Leeve" ( which sounds like "Leave" which means going away from where you stay, rather than "Liv" which would be less confusing.
But don't let any errors embarrass you ( try to hear how most white folks pronounce anything in a black Africanlanguage ! ) - but use the oportunity to learn - smile, and ask for advice on the best way to say it. Anyone would be pleased to help, and you will have l;earned something useful

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1
Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/09/15

Once upon a time people only called it shyness. And of course some of us are more shy than others. Then a specific disorder where it was really severe, was called Social Phobia, and that condition was later re-named Social Anxiety Disorder.
Now you seem at first to be describing simply a well-known efect of anxiety. If you're not bothered by how well you are performing - maybe you're reading a magazine at home, for instance, you'd probably just think a bit, and puzzle it out. If you're at work, or someone is watching or listening, when you have some basis for feeling anxious that they might think less fo you if you don't manage it, you get anxious, and the task may become far more difficult for you.
That's how anxiety decreases our performance, and yes, it can be part of social anxiety.
And similarly, you may talk fluently, but be self-conscious about how you pronounce words.
Now, counselling of the CBT form, and some medications also used to treat depression may remove the anxiety.
Also, one can try to remedy the things you feel self-conscious about. Its become harder for many people to learn to pronounce things well because they hear so many bad examples of things being pronounced badly, and so many good examples.
One can try, depending on what TV channels one gets, or what movies one can choose to seem to watch channels like the BBC News where you'll hear people from different cultural backgrounds, generally pronouncing things well. Reading magazines with actual articles rather than celebrity gossip, will give one more chance to see a wider range of words used in a context that helps you to understand them and see their spelling. There may be some adult edcation classes that could be helpful on such matters, too.
Trying to pronounce things well is not a snobby, showing-off thing, but helps us commnicate more effectively with each other.
For instance, shopping last week, I accidentally dropped by credit card. A very nice cashier noticed this and called loudly to me, what sounded to me like "You're Cut !" I checked, but could find no cuts and no bleeding. Then as she repeated herself, I wondered if it was "Your Cart !", but saw nothing wrong with that. Only when she pointed and I saw the card, did I realize what she meant. The way she said it was with a very short vowel sound, very like CUT, and without the longer caaarrd sound I had expected. Similarly, it's becoming usual to pronounce :"Live" ( where you stay ) as "Leeve" ( which sounds like "Leave" which means going away from where you stay, rather than "Liv" which would be less confusing.
But don't let any errors embarrass you ( try to hear how most white folks pronounce anything in a black Africanlanguage ! ) - but use the oportunity to learn - smile, and ask for advice on the best way to say it. Anyone would be pleased to help, and you will have l;earned something useful

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