Toronto Counselling and Psychotherapy

Social Discomfort

Do you feel awkward or uncomfortable in social situations? Perhaps you feel like an outsider? Or maybe you compare yourself to others, and feel less attractive or not as smart?

Many people come to my Toronto counselling office because of social discomfort. They find it hard to relax and be themselves around other people. They may feel like they need to perform in order to be liked. Or worse, their mind goes blank when they try to make conversation. This can be painful and embarrassing.

I can help you with social discomfort in the following ways:

First, I will listen closely and without judgment to your experience in social situations.

Together, we will identify the triggers for your discomfort and look for strategies to counteract them.

The bad feelings you get about yourself in social situations come from the past. And this is where we need to look to begin to undo them. Negative and false beliefs about ourselves get ingrained when we are kids. Together, we will examine these beliefs to understand them better.

Many people with social discomfort insist they had a wonderful childhood. They describe their childhood home as peaceful and harmonious, or fun and active. But this doesn’t mean it gave you what you needed to feel good about yourself.

Together, we will take a closer look at your history. Sometimes, parents are troubled with money problems, marital issues, illness, substance abuse or difficulties in their own families of origin. They can also be overly preoccupied with other things, like work. These can take away from the attention and encouragement that kids need to develop a strong sense of self-worth or self-esteem.

If your sense of self-worth is fragile, social situations can make you feel vulnerable. This is because, on a deep level, groups of people remind us of family. And family is where negative beliefs about ourselves developed.

I will help you repair your relationship with yourself by identifying and clearing out negative self-beliefs. You will then be able to relax and feel good about yourself in social situations.