Assertive Communication: Overcoming Social Anxiety & Panic Attacks

In this article we teach you assertive communication which can be tremendously helpful for overcoming social anxiety. This information is also available in video format.

In Part I, I discussed that by improving communication you can cut out one source of anxiety and improve your relationships. I used an imaginary example of your boss at work providing feedback and strategies for handling what might at first seem like a negative situation.

The example showed that by not getting defensive and finding an aspect of your bosses feedback to agree with – even if it’s just a minute part – you can diffuse a situation into a more productive one, instead of going into a full blown “Fight or Flight Response” which might be your typical response to social anxiety and contributor to your panic attacks.

In Part II, I want to provide another communication tip that has certainly been very helpful for me and many others.

As you can see, proper communication is a very important aspect of helping with anxiety and very important part of a good relationships.

For the sake of illustrating another tip, I want to go back to the imaginary scenario in Part I, in which you were receiving feedback from your boss.

Your boss is telling you that you have not been fast enough at preparing certain reports that are part of your job description.  Another strategy you can use in this situation is to complement him or her – your boss that is.

Okay… now some people will react to this suggestion by stating they are not “a suck-up” or going to “kiss their bosses butt”.

However, they are missing the point.

I’m not suggesting you just do it to “suck up” but rather you find some legitimate quality in your boss that you can compliment him or her on, because you can always find something good. Who doesn’t appreciate good comments?

Again, you are not in battle when you use a strategy like this and people will see you as a more credible communicator and will naturally be more receptive to you.

The more you use effective communication strategies the better you’ll become at communicating and reducing your anxiety in awkward situations.

Click here for part III of the communication series.

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Burns, D.D. (1989). The Feeling Good Handbook. New York, NY: Penguin Books USA Inc.