Humans are made to be social and social interaction is important for overall mental health. BetterHelp.com offers therapy that can help you adjust and feel more comfortable around other people. This can go a long way towards the improvement in your mental health status.
Regular social interaction can put us in a good mood and potentially even lower our risk of dementia. The sense of belonging and connection that we get when we interact with others is important. However, did you know that there is a type of behavioral therapy called social skills training?
Social Skills Training
Social skills training, or SST, can be good for those suffering from anxiety and other mental health disorders. Social anxiety can have a negative impact on our social lives and affect the way we interact with others. In addition, it can lessen our ability to develop self-esteem and confidence. Finally, those with social anxiety are less likely to interact with others which can be greatly beneficial for mental health.
Research indicates that SST can be an effective treatment for social anxiety. SST is often used in conjunction with other types of therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy. Sometimes medication is also prescribed for social or general anxiety.
SST often begins with an overview of the social interactions that cause the most anxiety in the person who is suffering. This can help both you and the therapist identify targets that are specific to your situation. Then, you and your therapist can work towards improving social skills. It is common for a therapist to introduce a single change at a time so that you will not feel overwhelmed.
A therapist may describe a specific social skill, why it is important, and how to see it through. The therapist may even model appropriate social behavior for you. It is also common for more complex social behaviors to be broken down into small chunks so that you can work on a different part of the interaction during each session. Therapy revolves around the entire social interaction and encompasses both nonverbal and verbal skills.
One technique that social skills therapy incorporates is role playing. You and your therapist may act out situations in order to reduce fear and increase comfort. The therapist can also help you identify challenges and help you work through them in a socially acceptable manner. The therapist will offer expert feedback to help you improve. In addition, you may be given homework so that you can practice these new social skills outside of your therapy sessions.
Proper social interaction involves numerous different skills. Therapy can help you work on improving these skills which, in turn, will reduce your social anxiety and increase your self-confidence and self-esteem.
SST can help you to be more assertive. A lot of people who suffer from social anxiety often defer to others or refuse to speak up. However, assertiveness can actually help to relive these types of anxieties and improve your comfort level when interacting with others.
Sometimes those who suffer from social anxiety also have problems accepting or giving compliments. Compliments are important for healthy relationships and communication. Learning how to react properly to compliments and to give them correctly can improve our communication and social interactions and even deepen our relationships.
Nonverbal communication is vastly important to any face-to-face interaction. People who suffer from social anxiety often have body language that signals that they are uncomfortable, unfriendly, or unapproachable. However, SST can help you work through these challenges to improve your nonverbal communication. It is also important that your nonverbal and your verbal interaction sync up so that they are not sending mixed signals.
Another vital component of proper social interaction and communication is active listening. Active listening means that you are paying enough attention to respond and reflect on the person who is speaking. This makes the other person feel like you care and will help you interact as well. Sometimes this is very important for those who suffer from social anxiety because it can help you focus less on yourself and your own fears.
If you suffer from social anxiety, know that there are mental health professionals that can help you adjust. They can model appropriate social behaviors and role play with you to learn how to act in different unique situations. Additionally, there are methods that therapists use to improve a wide range of different behaviors from assertiveness to active listening. This can help you improve your interactions with others, strengthen your relationships, and increase your confidence.