Carved in stone
One thing that can’t be altered, however, is the written word. So this is what you do. The next time you go to a social event you take a piece of paper and every 20 minutes or so, you write down from 1 to 10 how anxious you are, where one is ‘I feel like I’m in a nice soothing bubble bath’ and number ten is ‘If I don’t get out of here right now, I think my heart might stop’. Try to keep track of that during the whole night. You might also want to include some
bullet points about what happened to make you feel that way.
Then, afterwards, compare how you think you felt with how you actually felt and see if you remember the experience as being much worse than it actually was. Chances are you will. You might even see that some scene you’ve now replayed in your head many times as meaning something enormous, didn’t strike you as that significant at the time (and chances are you had a better idea at the time).
Social anxiety is something that can only be over won if you manage to not let it win. It’s a matter of slowly acclimatizing yourself to social situations and making yourself realize that they aren’t as bad as you think they are.
Writing is the perfect tool for that, as it can both offer you as a chance to practice the situations in advance, as well as lay down in writing how the experience actually was as you were going through it.
Do that often enough and the social anxiety might actually come back under control and you might find yourself competing for having the best retort in an interview, for example, or even allow yourself to get inspired to travel and see the big open road.
The world is your oyster, and only your social anxiety is preventing you from cracking it open. Good luck.