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Do your kids have a hard time warming up to people? Are they slow to make friends? Are they silent at family gatherings? When does shyness turn into social anxiety?

30 Signs of Social Anxiety: When it is Beyond Shyness

Do your kids have a hard time warming up to people? Are they slow to make friends? Are they silent at family gatherings? When does shyness turn into social anxiety? It can be a challenge to tell what the signs of social anxiety are and what is just shyness?

Here are 30 signs of social anxiety in kids. Are you missing the signs?

Each sign individually is normal and many kids will have these thoughts and struggles. But if the whole list starts to sound very much like your child, you might want to take a closer look at social anxiety.

This list is not meant to diagnose and is for informational purposes only. If you are worried about your child having signs of social anxiety, please consult a mental health professional.

30 Signs of Social Anxiety in Kids:

1. Have a hard time talking to other kids and/or adults

2. Excessively worry about their appearance

3. Worry they might say something or do something embarrassing

4. Struggle with ordering their own food at restaurants

5. Are consumed with what other people think of them

6. Have a hard time eating in front of other people when they are not at home

7. Prefer to stay at home most of the time

8. Feel overwhelmed in large social gatherings

9. Worry parents are going to embarrass them in front of their friends

10. Don’t like anyone to focus on them

11. Are too anxious to raise their hand in class

12. Over-analyze social situations

13. Often feel friends don’t really like them

14. Have a hard time talking to people on the phone

15. When they were very little they had a hard time separating

16. When they were little they didn’t talk to anyone except family members

17. They have a hard time using the bathroom when they are not at home

18. Refuse to poop anywhere, but home

19. Feel like their friends don’t really care about them

20. Are too anxious to do school presentations

21. Are too anxious to read aloud in class

22. Excessively worries that other people are judging them

23. Are mortified if a teacher corrects them in front of other students

24. Speak softly to those they don’t know

25. Fear new social situations

26. Play alone at school

27. Have limited friends

28. Teachers describe a completely different child than the one you see at home

29. Gets self-conscious when their appearance changes (haircut, braces etc.)

30. Are overly afraid that kids will be mean to them

This list is by no means comprehensive. These are just some of the most common signs of social anxiety that I see in my practice.

Did this list sound familiar? What other signs of social anxiety do you see in your kids? Leave a comment and share your experiences with other parents.

Do you know parents who have a child with signs of social anxiety? Share this article with them.

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30 Signs of Social Anxiety: When it is Beyond Shyness


Natasha Daniels

Natasha Daniels is a child therapist and author of Anxiety Sucks! A Teen Survival Guide and How to Parent Your Anxious Toddler. She is the creator of AnxiousToddlers.com and the parenting E-Course How to Teach Your Kids to Crush Anxiety. Her work has been featured on various sites including Huffington Post, Scary Mommy and The Mighty. She can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest or making parenting videos for Curious.com.


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APA Reference
Daniels, N. (2016). 30 Signs of Social Anxiety: When it is Beyond Shyness. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 7, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/anxious-kids/2016/11/social-anxiety/

 

Last updated: 17 Nov 2016
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network (blogs.psychcentral.com) prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.