Many people suffer from what's known as "social phobia," an irrational fear of social situations. Some degree of social phobia is normal. Small degrees of shyness in public places, or discomfort while public speaking, are natural in most people and do not imply an anxiety problem.
But when that fear disrupts your life, _you may be suffering from social phobia_.
Social phobia is when the shyness is intense, and the idea of socializing or speaking with the public, strangers, authority figures, or possibly even your friends causes you noticeable anxiety and fear.
People with social phobia view public situations as being potentially painful and distressing, living with a constant fear of being judged, observed, remarked upon, or avoided. Those with social phobia also often have an irrational fear of doing something stupid or embarrassing.
What makes this more than just shyness is when those fears cause you to avoid healthy socializing situations altogether. Those with social phobia often live with two or more of the following issues:
Many people with social phobia display avoidance behaviors. They avoid any social situations as best they can to avoid further fear.