Listen Now


Are you an introvert with social anxiety? Do you struggle to communicate and be confident around others?

In this episode, David visits with communications professor Rebecca DiVerniero all about how to communicate and be confident as an introvert with social anxiety. You’ll learn practical tips for improving your communication and confidence that will help you feel more comfortable in social situations.
 
So if you’re looking for ways to improve your communication and confidence, this episode is a must-listen! You’ll be glad you did!

***
Guest: Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero

Rebecca DiVerniero is both introverted *and* socially anxious. With her Ph.D. in Interpersonal Communication, she helps fellow socially anxious adults find their own worth and start, grow, and maintain a social life they actually enjoy.

Website: Socialanxietyacademy.teachable.com

Instagram(main platform) | TikTok

– – – 

Books mentioned in this episode:

Susan Cain Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

– – –

Contact the host of the Quiet and Strong Podcast: 

David Hall

Author, Speaker, Educator, Podcaster

quietandstrong.com

Gobio.link/quietandstrong

david@quietandstrong.com

 Take the FREE Personality Assessment:

Typefinder Personality Assessment

Follow David on your favorite social platform:

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn

 Get David’s book:

Minding Your Time: Time Management, Productivity, and Success, Especially for Introverts

You may also like:

Quiet & Strong Merchandise


Podcast Transcript

00;01;14;13 – 00;01;56;23
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
The main thing I tell people, especially if they haven’t begun to work on these things, is that esteem is number one. I developed a course about self-esteem for socially anxious adults for some of the reasons I mentioned earlier that your self-image is generally based on what other people tell you as opposed to what you actually think. So if you can start to reflect in a way that’s more compassionate and critical of other what other people say, then you can start to unlearn some of those negative habits you have of bashing yourself all the time.

00;02;00;13 – 00;02;25;16
David Hall
Hello and welcome to episode 87 of the Quiet and Strong Podcast, especially for introverts. I’m your host, David Hall, and the creator of Quiet and Strong com. It’s a weekly podcast dedicated to understanding the strengths and needs of introverts. Introversion is not something to fix, but to be embraced normally will air each episode on a Monday. Be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform.

00;02;25;18 – 00;02;52;00
David Hall
Leave a review. Tell a friend. Help get the word out there. Rebecca Diva Nero is both introverted and socially anxious with her PhD in interpersonal communication. She helps fellow socially anxious adults find their own worth and start, grow and maintain a social life that they actually enjoy. All right. Well, I’m very excited for my guest, Rebecca. Rebecca, welcome to the Quiet and strong podcast interview.

00;02;52;03 – 00;02;53;02
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
Glad to be here.

00;02;53;23 – 00;03;11;17
David Hall
Okay, so we are going to definitely talk about the work you do to help the socially anxious introvert. Before we do that, tell us about yourself, your journey through. Understanding your learning to understand your introversion and social anxiety. To now helping other people with their social anxiety.

00;03;11;29 – 00;03;42;13
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
Yeah, I think maybe because of my age, introversion wasn’t very well understood when I was young. I went to a handful of therapists when I was in grade school. In high school, and the last one I went to had me take a personality test. And she was obsessed with whether I was an introvert or an extrovert. And the personality test came back and I was an introvert, and she acted like introversion was my problem.

00;03;43;01 – 00;04;17;06
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
And that was the thing I needed therapy for. And so I didn’t go to her for very long. I didn’t really understand what was going on, but I was uncomfortable with the hyper-focus on that. And I thought, there’s more to me than just this. And it seems like she’s a little intense about it. But about 15 years later, the book Quiet came out and I read that and I was like, Oh my gosh, introversion is okay.

00;04;17;18 – 00;04;44;19
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
That lady had me thinking I was nuts for being more quiet and the book really gave me a second wind in terms of figuring out who I was and being able to accept who I was because it was an excellent description of introversion and the benefits that come from being more introverted, even though extroversion looks more exciting on its face.

00;04;44;19 – 00;05;16;02
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
I have a whole world of things going on in my head, and so I’ve learned to embrace that and enjoy it. In terms of social anxiety, I didn’t really know that was an issue, and that probably was what the therapist should have been worried about until about six years ago I dealt with. I’ve realized since then I’ve dealt with social anxiety by drinking heavily from like ages 18 to my early thirties.

00;05;16;11 – 00;05;46;26
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
And once I slowed the drinking down, the social anxiety just kind of came barreling towards me. All of a sudden, I couldn’t function in social situations. I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know what to say and I knew it was a negative thing and it was different than the introversion. So I went to meet ups, I went to therapy, I got prescribed some medication, and I did a ton of reading about social anxiety.

00;05;46;26 – 00;05;57;15
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
And that’s how I ended up working with socially anxious adults, where we try to respects that introversion, but push them a little on the anxiety front.

00;05;57;29 – 00;06;25;10
David Hall
Yeah. Wow. Your story. That’s too bad because it’s not a disorder in its version is a very natural way of being, as we both know. And I always say, I learned that there was nothing wrong with my introversion, but what was wrong earlier in my life was my lack of understanding about it. And once I got to know it and embrace that, things like shyness and social anxiety largely went away from me.

00;06;25;10 – 00;06;29;02
David Hall
But that’s the key, is getting to understand it.

00;06;29;24 – 00;06;46;14
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
Mm hmm. Yeah. The more comfortable you are with yourself, the lower anxiety is going to go. So understanding my introversion definitely helped with the social anxiety. But because I was self-medicating so much, the anxiety had to be dealt with separately. And as you.

00;06;46;14 – 00;07;04;01
David Hall
Mentioned, you mentioned Susan Cain’s book. The books. They mentioned a lot on this show. It definitely helped a lot of people understand, you know what, I’m okay. And hopefully, in fact, I’m brilliant the way I am and so that’s that’s a great book. Susan Cain’s quite I do highly recommend that one, too.

00;07;04;18 – 00;07;12;10
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
Yeah, but that book, introversion was something I was embarrassed about and didn’t talk about. And now I’ll talk about it any time. Anywhere.

00;07;12;24 – 00;07;35;15
David Hall
Yeah, and you’re right. Even not that long ago, it really wasn’t widely understood. It’s just been in more recent days or years that it’s more understood what it is and that there’s a lot of great strengths that come from it. So that’s why we’re having these conversations so people aren’t coming to understand it very much later in life, you know, like maybe we did.

00;07;36;17 – 00;07;40;20
David Hall
So what was it? What was keys for you learning to manage your social anxiety?

00;07;41;16 – 00;08;09;05
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
Well, not using things like alcohol as a crutch was definitely lesson number one. Because for me, even though it made me outgoing and I acted like an extrovert, at the end of the day, I would be exhausted because you’re still even if you’re drunk, you’re an introvert. And so even though it takes care of the anxiety, your introverted brain is saying, like, slow down, please stop.

00;08;09;18 – 00;08;48;10
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
So I was kind of killing the part of myself that I did like and to cover up the part that that wasn’t so great. And so once I was able to get away from substances like that, other things that helped me were just really diving into the things I got my PhD in, which was interpersonal communication. So much of that world of interpersonal is, is some social skills, but it’s also about being able to connect with other people.

00;08;48;13 – 00;09;18;18
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
And as someone who is simultaneously socially anxious and an introvert, that’s what I want from interactions anyway. I don’t want to go talk to every single person at a party ever, but I do want to be able to connect with a few people about some interesting, deep topics. So being able to utilize my introversion to deal with the anxiety actually ended up working in the long run.

00;09;18;19 – 00;09;22;17
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
Take the things I’m good at and use them to my advantage.

00;09;23;21 – 00;09;50;24
David Hall
Yeah, so let’s talk about that. So, you know, you’re expert in communication and introverts and extroverts. We communicate differently than we think and then we speak. And that’s something I didn’t understand for the longest time. But it also when you don’t understand that, it can definitely make you shy and socially anxious. But understanding your introversion, you can get better because like you said, we want to make connections.

00;09;51;08 – 00;10;15;03
David Hall
We just don’t want to go and make connections with a hundred people all at once. But we want to make connections. That’s important to us. But, you know, so when you’re, you know, when you’re teaching at the college level, you know, you’re teaching about one on one communication, teaching about small groups in public speaking. And I think, you know, helping from an introvert perspective can really help reduce that social anxiety.

00;10;15;03 – 00;10;23;08
David Hall
So how does an introvert understand hiding their introversion help in those areas of one on one or small groups or public speaking?

00;10;24;01 – 00;10;54;25
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
Yeah, it really is about connection. When I taught public speaking in particular, of course, no one wanted to do it, extrovert or introvert, but the extroverts could at least fake it better. But the more introverted students, especially those with social anxiety, were horrified by the idea that they had to stand up alone and talk about potentially themselves, which was another problem for the social anxiety.

00;10;55;08 – 00;11;19;10
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
But we talked a lot about even though you’re speaking in front of a group of people, you’re not talking at them, you’re communicating with them. They are giving you signals about whether they understand or are following or they’re on their phone and they’re not listening at all. And simultaneously, you need to act as though you’re communicating with each one of them individually.

00;11;19;22 – 00;11;45;24
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
So instead of seeing a big group, I wanted my students to see one on one interactions about something that they cared about and wanted to talk about. So as long as I could get that through their brain, a lot of them enjoyed it much more, whether they were introverted or not. And for a lot of them, their social anxiety was taken down at least a peg.

00;11;45;24 – 00;12;12;20
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
If not significantly, in that process. That human communication, no matter what the form, if you treat it like an interpersonal interaction and I’m learning this for my business to, to, to deal with the anxiety I have around it, the, the harder it’s going to be for people to judge you, for people to look down on how you communicate and you’re going to feel more comfortable because of that.

00;12;13;28 – 00;12;31;25
David Hall
Yeah. Yeah. So we can all be great at public speaking, but I don’t know that I’ve learned as an introvert, I go about preparing for it differently. Mm hmm. Do you have any advice on how introvert what might be different in preparing for a speech that can reduce their anxiety?

00;12;32;02 – 00;12;38;11
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
Yes. The extroverts would come in having barely practiced at all and be able to pull it off.

00;12;38;29 – 00;12;39;10
David Hall
Yeah.

00;12;39;22 – 00;13;18;09
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
But the not always great they could they could at least get up there and talk. But the introverts wanted as much preparation as possible, and part of that for some of them was mixed with anxiety that if I don’t get it perfect, then I’m going to blow everything. So I would try to teach them the importance of things like key words that, you know, you have your general outline of what you want to say, but then when you create notecards for the giving the speech, you need to just have key words or phrases on there to trigger your memory.

00;13;19;06 – 00;13;44;17
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
So you’re not reading a script because no one is good at that unless they’re extremely well practiced and no one wants to watch that. And it also gets rid of any ability to connect with the audience. So key words that you can bounce off of are, I think, what introverts should focus on if they’re preparing to speak in front of a group.

00;13;44;17 – 00;13;57;12
David Hall
Okay. Yeah. And again, I’ll tell you, introverts can be great public speakers, but it might look different. My friend might be good at getting up there and winging it. I could be jealous or I could be like, You know what? I’m going to do what I need to do.

00;13;58;00 – 00;13;59;26
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
Right? You’re probably going to be more organized.

00;14;00;12 – 00;14;20;03
David Hall
Yeah, yeah, for sure. And I’m definitely not a memorize there. Like you said, I don’t think it works for very many people. I definitely have some bullet points. Another thing with communication is we tend to like to have good conversations on a deeper level. How can you help people learn to do small talk so that they can get to those deeper conversations?

00;14;20;03 – 00;14;37;26
David Hall
And again, I think when it’s tough to come up with topics and things that can definitely bring social anxiety if you’re feeling forced, forced is the word I’m looking for, forced into small talk. So what advice do you have for that? Because, again, we want to have deeper conversation and we need to have some small talk, but we want to get past the small talk.

00;14;38;04 – 00;15;03;28
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
Sure, I hate small talk. Just like every other introvert and it tends to make my anxiety go up too, because the thought is, where is this conversation about the weather ever going to go? But I just had a three-day long live series about conversation skills as socially anxious introverts. And one of the things I told them to focus on is context.

00;15;04;13 – 00;15;37;11
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
Think about where you are, what you’re doing, who’s there, what’s going on around you, and you can easily pull from any of those things, which can then lead to a more interesting conversation. So for instance, if I am at a sports bar and there’s an NFL game on the TV, I don’t just want to comment on who put the ball in the goal report, but because I love football, I want to talk about the players and trades that were made during the summer.

00;15;37;11 – 00;16;02;17
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
So if I point out something about that game to someone, I am doing it in an attempt to eventually lengthen that into a more interesting in-depth conversation about football. And that small talk can help me see if the other person seems to care about that sport or want to talk about it more. So if that doesn’t happen, it’s okay.

00;16;03;12 – 00;16;12;22
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
And if it does, then great. I got exactly what I wanted. But you know, if it doesn’t happen, then I get to just turn my attention back to the game I wanted to watch anyway.

00;16;13;14 – 00;16;31;08
David Hall
Yeah, yeah. And I think that’s an important thing to keep in mind. If it doesn’t, it’s okay. And the other okay thing that I’ve talk about is, you know what, people seem to be afraid of silence, but a little silence is okay because if they’re silence, then everybody stay quiet. Right. It’s not just you.

00;16;31;29 – 00;16;35;13
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
Right? And people pause to think, you know.

00;16;35;16 – 00;16;36;13
David Hall
We have to.

00;16;38;04 – 00;17;01;27
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
Right. I it depends on region. I’m from New York, so I talk more quickly than a lot of introverts. But still I like to pause and think and I just had to, especially when I became a professor, really get comfortable with that because it’s especially awkward when 30 people are staring at you, waiting to write down what you’re going to say.

00;17;02;16 – 00;17;29;26
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
And so one thing that I would tell my students when they would prepare for public speaking or when they I taught them about interpersonal connection, is that even if 1 to 3 seconds seems like an eternity to you, it feels like nothing to the other person. But they’ll deal with one. A very short pause so you can gather your thoughts and keep going.

00;17;29;26 – 00;17;48;14
David Hall
Yeah, yeah. And again, I just think that communication skills are so important and I’m so happy that you have this expertise on the show today. So one more communication question for you. In the small group, especially like maybe a work meeting, how can introverts make sure that their voice and their ideas are heard?

00;17;48;14 – 00;18;29;22
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
Yeah, that can be tough, especially if there’s there’s usually one loud mouth in every group. So getting your turn may not happen organically. You kind of have to take it. And if you’re doing something like you’re you’re on a committee for something at work, I would go in with one or two points you planned to make. And when it seems like the conversation is steering, that way, you have to jump in and offer the information, even if it seems rude to you or inappropriate because it’s it’s just small group communication.

00;18;29;22 – 00;18;51;13
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
There’s so many personalities there. There’s so many agendas there that if as long as you come in knowing that you want to say one or two things, it should be relatively easy to just interject, even if the conversation never steers that way. Make sure that you get that out before the meeting ends.

00;18;52;17 – 00;19;13;29
David Hall
Yeah, I think that’s great advice. I typically do that. It’s like I’ll write a couple of bullet points. I need to be sure to ask this or I need to be sure to comment on this. And I think that’s great advice because you’ve already thought about it. So when the time comes and then also just I’ll keep that same list, but I might be adding to it because all kinds of thoughts are coming during that meeting too.

00;19;13;29 – 00;19;19;17
David Hall
So I might need to express those during the meeting or maybe do some follow-up afterwards.

00;19;19;17 – 00;19;26;09
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
So yeah. And if if you feel prepared beforehand, it’s going to be easier in the moment to say what you need to say.

00;19;26;09 – 00;19;43;07
David Hall
I don’t know if we cleared up. Social anxiety could definitely impact introverts and extroverts. You know, it’s not just limited to introverts, but what are some other ways? In addition to improving communication skills, can you help introverts manage their social anxiety?

00;19;44;20 – 00;20;21;16
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
Well, part of what, I try to do is identity work with the people I speak to, because so much of having social anxiety, especially if you’re introverted and essentially more quiet, is a lot of people tell you what to think about yourself. So a lot of people who have gotten to adulthood and are still very socially anxious have this self-image that is 100% based on things they’ve been told as opposed to decisions that they’ve made themselves.

00;20;21;29 – 00;20;48;12
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
So we really try to figure out who it is that they are and how they can begin to express that in ways that won’t bring negative attention to them. Because one of the worst things that can happen to someone who’s socially anxious is judgment. So there I work, I try to work with them to be themselves. But in ways that aren’t going to cause them more grief than they’re already dealing with.

00;20;49;05 – 00;20;58;28
David Hall
I don’t even know if we expanded on this enough so far. So social anxiety is definitely a fear of judgment. What are some other things that social anxiety is?

00;20;59;21 – 00;21;29;09
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
It’s also a fear of rejection. It’s the the and and being terrified of humiliation. So for me, that might mean that someone finds out I’m shorter than I really am. I used to wear heels all the time to the point where, like, I can barely walk now because I was so terrified someone would find out I was five foot two and that to me was humiliating because I learned when I was younger that it’s it’s bad to be short.

00;21;29;09 – 00;21;31;29
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
Like, I like I did it on purpose. It’s something.

00;21;32;04 – 00;21;33;21
David Hall
Right? Right.

00;21;33;21 – 00;22;04;28
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
So I desperately went out of my way to pretend to be someone I wasn’t. And a lot of socially anxious people do the same. They act like they have no personality or they change their personality depending on the situation. And they don’t have to do that because they don’t need everyone to like them. And additionally, social anxiety equates to your brain telling you there are dangers when there probably aren’t.

00;22;06;02 – 00;22;27;17
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
Even if you are in a room full of welcoming people, your anxiety is going to tell you that they’re going to hate you, that they’re going to think you’re boring, and that you’re going to mess this up, and you will probably obsess about that afterwards as well. So it’s it’s essentially self-punishment for trying to exist in society.

00;22;28;09 – 00;22;38;02
David Hall
So how does someone change their thoughts around that? How do they come to a more realistic view of themselves and that some of those things just really aren’t true?

00;22;38;17 – 00;23;12;02
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
It’s a lot of work for me. It took getting on medication, which worked out well for me. I take Prozac and it was like suddenly I could push back against the thoughts I was having. It’s also figuring out how to be mindful, meaning living in the moment. I’m not great at it, but I’ve learned at least when I am socializing, to pay attention to what’s happening as opposed to worrying about what I might see next or how someone’s looking at me.

00;23;12;20 – 00;23;36;03
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
And the main thing I tell people, especially if they haven’t begun to work on these things, is self-esteem is number one. I developed a course about self-esteem for socially anxious adults for some of the reasons I mentioned earlier that your self-image is generally based on what other people tell you as opposed to what you actually think.

00;23;36;13 – 00;23;51;01
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
So if you can start to reflect in a way that’s more compassionate and critical of other what other people say, then you can start to unlearn some of those negative habits you have of bashing yourself all the time.

00;23;51;01 – 00;24;11;17
David Hall
Yeah, definitely. It really is getting to know yourself. And so in our conversation, I think that part of it is really getting to know your strengths. And you know, we’re talking about introversion and social anxiety. What would you say is a strength or two of yours as an introvert, or sometimes I call them superpowers and we’re not all the same.

00;24;11;17 – 00;24;15;03
David Hall
So maybe a strength that you’ve seen in other introverts that you’ve worked with?

00;24;16;02 – 00;24;49;15
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
I really enjoy the conversations I have with myself, especially since I’ve been dealing with my anxiety. There are a lot more pleasant to have, so when I have an issue, I need to figure out. That’s what my brain does for the next however many days. If I need to figure out how to make my Instagram followers more engaged, I’m going to sit and stew about it until I come up with four or five decent solutions.

00;24;49;15 – 00;25;13;12
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
If I have an interaction with my partner where it seems like he might be mad at the end, I can sit and really consider what the problem might be and how to deal with it effectively as opposed to just reacting to him. Because I think that’s where a lot of conflict and problems come from is just super quick reactions as opposed to taking time to think and reflect.

00;25;13;23 – 00;25;32;12
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
So that’s work out for me. It doesn’t mean I never react, but it does mean that most of the time I really give it some thought and we can have all my relationships, we can have thoughtful conversation and sort of yelling at each other or overreacting to something.

00;25;33;22 – 00;25;53;21
David Hall
Yeah. So I think that probably that one is pretty common to most of us having the great gift of being able to be reflective and some great solutions like you’re talking about can come from that. And so that’s a strength and not everybody has that. So that’s a great strength. Is there another one that you have or that you’ve seen in others?

00;25;55;17 – 00;26;37;26
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
I think at the introversion comes with a bit more self-awareness and when it’s combined with social anxiety, it’s too much self-awareness. But introversion on its own. It’s not only pausing to think about what to say, but you’re also taking in the reactions from others. You’re thinking about what they might need in that interaction. And that, I think, is how introverts can make connections the best that you really do care about how you are impacting other people because you’re taking a second to think while you’re communicating.

00;26;38;24 – 00;27;06;00
David Hall
Yeah, I think that’s something that really helps me is coming to terms with that, that I did need to take a second or maybe longer, maybe a day, however long and asking for that time or just telling somebody, hey, I’m thinking, you know, maybe it’s a minute later, I don’t know. But that it’s normal. And definitely I felt earlier on that that wasn’t normal, you know, because somebody else is just talking nonstop and that’s how they operate.

00;27;06;00 – 00;27;24;27
David Hall
And I’m feeling bad that I’m pausing and thinking. And so I think that really helps with the social anxiety that I had is realizing, you know what, you have a great gift for thinking, but you need to take some time for that gift and you need to let other people know. Let me think about that. In fact, that’s that’s one of my favorite phrases as an introvert.

00;27;24;29 – 00;27;26;13
David Hall
Give me some time to think about that.

00;27;28;00 – 00;27;42;05
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
Yeah. My conflict professor in college said that she would think for a couple of days about conflicts. She had with her husband. But the deal was she had she then had to give him two days once she told him what she thought.

00;27;42;16 – 00;27;42;29
David Hall
Okay.

00;27;43;00 – 00;27;46;24
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
So you have to you have to give as much as you take, I think with time.

00;27;47;16 – 00;28;05;16
David Hall
Yeah. And sometimes that’s a thing too. Like, you know, we might think for too long. So sometimes there might be a deadline that we give ourselves or maybe somebody else has for us. We do need some time to think, but at some point it’s time to make a decision or come up with an idea. So that could be helpful, too.

00;28;06;10 – 00;28;07;14
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
Yes, definitely.

00;28;08;09 – 00;28;31;04
David Hall
All right. So I think that’s a big piece of all this is really gaining confidence and building your self esteem is realizing what your strengths are. They might look different than other people, but you have your own like like we’re talking about. So part of this show, you know, we talk about strengths and needs of introverts. We talk about strategies for success, and we also do some myth busting.

00;28;31;11 – 00;28;40;26
David Hall
I think we already did. Some introverts can be a great public speakers for introverts like Connection. Is there any other myths that you want to bust today?

00;28;41;17 – 00;29;13;26
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
I think just given what I do, that introversion and social anxiety are the same thing. I follow the hashtag social anxiety on Instagram, and I would say 90% of the time the hashtag is used in introvert focused posts. And it’s not like obviously you can have both. But the the posts that I see for the most part are so focused on introversion that they don’t necessarily speak to the social anxiety.

00;29;14;06 – 00;29;28;08
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
So there is a distinct line. Social anxiety is the fear of the outcome of communicating, whereas introversion is just maybe needing a little more time to communicate and not needing to communicate as often.

00;29;29;05 – 00;29;49;18
David Hall
Yeah, yeah. And needing some time alone from time to time. There may be some people that want to be alone all the time. I think most people want to spend some time and you just got to find that balance. But I think you’re right, they’re not the same thing. And with introversion, it’s just a matter of getting to know ourselves and our introversion with social anxiety.

00;29;49;18 – 00;30;10;21
David Hall
It’s definitely something that we can manage or largely overcome just by getting to know what we need, telling ourselves the right things and that kind of thing. What are other ways that you helped introverts overcome their social anxiety? We talked about that you helped them build their self-esteem, their communication skills.

00;30;11;08 – 00;30;38;07
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
I also have a bit of a knack, and I learned this early on in my teaching for just providing a really comfortable space for people when it comes to anxiety, since the main fear is humiliation, anxious people are terrified to make mistakes. And in my classroom, I always did my best to illustrate. You’re human. Humans make mistakes. I will make mistakes.

00;30;38;07 – 00;30;58;09
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
And I’m going to tell you when I make mistakes because it’s actually kind of easy to hide a mistake. If you’re giving a lecture, you just act like it didn’t happen or you meant to say that thing. But I often stopped myself, said that’s not what I meant to say, to show them they weren’t alone in making mistakes.

00;30;58;09 – 00;31;34;04
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
And I. I try to do the same for clients now that if you say something you feel kind of stupid about or you stumble over your words, that’s okay. I’m not judging you. It’s it’s you’re doing it because you’re human and probably because you haven’t had that much communication practice. So, you know, I used to tell my public speaking students, I’m creating a womb for you, so utilize it, use practice on me, make your mistakes with me, because other professors might not be as nice.

00;31;35;14 – 00;31;56;29
David Hall
I think that that’s such a big key. I think a lot of social anxiety does come from perfectionism, and that sounds amazing that maybe in the classroom you can set it up that, you know, we’re here to learn we’re not perfect in fact, that’s been a key for me, is realizing, for example, in a public speech, maybe a used to be more anxious, but now I’m like, you know what?

00;31;56;29 – 00;32;11;13
David Hall
You’re going to prepare your best in your best introverted way. You’re an expert at this topic. You’re going to give a great speech, but you’re going to make mistakes because you’re not perfect. But nobody in the audience is perfect either. You know, it’s been a breakthrough for me.

00;32;11;25 – 00;32;31;17
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
Yeah. Any time you’re learning anything, it’s kind of ugly. I’ve. I’m attempting to learn a little French, right now because I’m going to France next week, and I sound like such an idiot. But I’m making my mistakes by myself and in front of my partner. So I cannot at least say things like hello and thank you when I get there.

00;32;31;25 – 00;32;48;09
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
And also they’re going to know I’m American, so they’re probably going to forgive some mistakes because they know I’m not a native speaker. So I have to kind of get over myself and just do it because they do expect some semblance of you trying the language.

00;32;48;09 – 00;33;01;15
David Hall
I think that’s it. So you said it. You’re not a native speaker, so how could you be perfect? And you know, if you’re just starting to learn it, it’s going to take some time. You’re going to do your best. But hopefully people will give you a grace at the same time.

00;33;02;05 – 00;33;03;23
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
Or just hand me the cross on.

00;33;04;08 – 00;33;06;01
David Hall
Yeah, yeah, right, right. This is.

00;33;06;19 – 00;33;10;00
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
The point.

00;33;10;00 – 00;33;12;20
David Hall
Yeah, well, that sounds fun. I hope you have a great trip in.

00;33;12;29 – 00;33;15;01
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
I’m very nervous, but excited.

00;33;15;22 – 00;33;22;14
David Hall
Who is there anything else that you want to talk about as far as helping introverts overcome social anxiety?

00;33;24;14 – 00;34;02;19
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
I think another thing that maybe gets misunderstood by introverts is that to overcome social anxiety, you have to be socializing nonstop, but you can respect your introversion and still deal with the social anxiety. It just means that you might have to push yourself out the door a little bit, because if you’re an introvert, you enjoy being at home or being in a quiet place and you’re comfortable not talking to people, but if you’re going to manage the anxiety, you need to push yourself to to speak to at least a couple of people a week.

00;34;02;28 – 00;34;28;15
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
So one thing that I suggest to people is to practice on a customer service people. So if you’re at a cafe, talk to the barista for a minute and they have to be nice to you. They’re they’re going to be comfortable talking about things like coffee. And you can have a small win in those instances. So it’s not as scary.

00;34;28;15 – 00;34;40;13
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
And when you feel like talking, you can do it more naturally because you’ve made your mistakes with people who aren’t going to care at all and to have to be kind, even if you’re really below it.

00;34;41;14 – 00;35;03;11
David Hall
Yeah, I think you just made such an excellent point. It’s like I’m not trying to help people become extroverts, but the key question for me is, what do you want? Are you getting what you want? How do you get what you want? And you said it. It’s like, you know, if I’m not spending enough time with family and friends and I want to spend more what’s getting in my way.

00;35;03;27 – 00;35;24;17
David Hall
But if I am spending enough time with my family and friends and I need some alone time, great. And I’m getting the right balance for me. I’m making the connections I want. I’m making the progress in my career that I want. Great. If I’m not, then there’s things like that you and I are talking about that you can help get what you want.

00;35;24;17 – 00;35;37;02
David Hall
And that’s such a key thing. Yeah. We’re not trying to make people talk nonstop and have nonstop social calendars either. That’s not the goal. It’s. What do you want? Let’s help you get rid of some of that anxiety. Mm hmm.

00;35;37;18 – 00;35;43;18
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
Yeah, I’m not suggesting they go out to clubs every night. Yeah, they want to. Yeah.

00;35;43;26 – 00;36;01;06
David Hall
If that. If you want to. Great. But it really comes down to what do you want? In fact, there was a post on a group I’m in on Facebook and the person was saying, you know, it’s a holiday weekend and I’m getting pressure to do things. And I just really want to stay home. And I respond to it’s like, okay, well, what do you want?

00;36;01;09 – 00;36;26;10
David Hall
Do what you want and don’t feel the pressure to do what you think is expected of you. And sometimes that time at home on a holiday weekend is the best thing ever. So yeah, yeah. And sometimes it’s fun to go travel like you’re about to do and you got to figure out what that balance is like. Yeah, I love to travel, but I also like to take some time alone sometimes and take a day off when I’m not going anywhere.

00;36;26;10 – 00;36;32;23
David Hall
And you just kind of figure out what that what that looks like. And then lots of misconceptions out there.

00;36;33;04 – 00;36;33;19
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
Yes.

00;36;34;21 – 00;36;38;03
David Hall
Tell us about the Social Anxiety Academy that you run.

00;36;38;22 – 00;37;11;12
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
The Social Anxiety Academy is an attempt to help people deal with the main thing socially anxious people come up against. The first month I put in content about things like eye contact with which the average socially anxious person hates. And so since my background is communication, I approach it like a communication lesson, not look at this person for exactly this amount of time and then look away.

00;37;11;22 – 00;37;34;27
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
But here’s what research actually says about eye contact. Here’s why people who yell at you about your eye contact are inaccurate, and here’s how to get around the problem without triggering or triggering yourself into a panic attack. So each week I come out with new content like that. This past week it’s been about judgment and how to deal with it.

00;37;34;27 – 00;38;09;09
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
When you think it’s happening, how to reflect about whether it’s actually happening or not, and how to maybe reframe rejection because that’s another big concern. And so it’s not just meant for introverts, but I think it’s most well-suited for introverts because it’s a lot of it is about sitting and thinking. So learning to be reflective is important, I think, to deal with social anxiety because and I do have some more straightforward things for extroverts.

00;38;09;09 – 00;38;30;10
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
I have actual scripts like if you want to start a conversation, use some of these ideas where you can just literally say the thing I’m going to tell you to stay. But I think for introverts, since we do like to spend more time and understand things in more depth, the communication lessons are really more for them too.

00;38;30;12 – 00;38;40;08
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
To help them understand all the factors that play into something as seemingly simple as looking someone in the eye sounds great.

00;38;40;26 – 00;38;43;29
David Hall
Is there anything else that we didn’t cover in our conversation today?

00;38;45;16 – 00;38;52;04
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
I don’t think so. I mean, just I look forward to reflecting on how this conversation went.

00;38;52;04 – 00;39;10;26
David Hall
Yeah. Yeah, I know you’re going to do that. I am, too. It’s I’ve actually learned from this conversation. I know other people will, too. So you’re doing some great work helping people manage their social anxiety and hopefully get what they want out of their life. Where can people find out more about this great work that you’re doing?

00;39;10;26 – 00;39;38;18
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
Rebecca Well, they can go to my Instagram, which is called Surviving Social Anxiety, and they can also go to the Social Anxiety Academy. DOT teacher Volcom, which has a long list of the current options in there for courses, hacks, lessons and new content is added every week. So if you’re interested in that, go there or there’s a link in my Instagram.

00;39;39;24 – 00;39;46;01
David Hall
Sounds great again. Thanks so much for being on the podcast today. This has been a very helpful conversation.

00;39;46;01 – 00;39;55;17
Dr. Rebecca DiVerniero
Thank you for having this podcast because it’s it’s nice to hear from people who I know are similar to me.

00;39;55;17 – 00;40;18;13
David Hall
We’ve discussed many great tips and strategies for managing social anxiety. As an introvert, I hope that you’ve found this helpful. But remember, if you or someone you know needs additional help or experiencing a mental health crisis, please talk to a trusted friend or relative or reach out to a professional. Thanks so much for joining me in this episode today I look forward to further connecting with you.

00;40;18;23 – 00;40;38;24
David Hall
Reach out to David at QuietAndStrong.com or check out the QuietandStrong website, which includes blog posts, links to social media channels, and much more. Send me topics or guess you’d like to see on the show. If you’re interested in getting to know yourself better, there’s now a free type finder personality assessment on the quiet and strong website.

00;40;39;14 – 00;40;57;02
David Hall
This free assessment will give you a brief report, including the four-letter Myers-Briggs code. I’ll add a lead to the show notes. So many great things about being an introvert and we need those to be understood. Get to know your introverted strengths and needs and be strong.

Recommended Posts