Those who suffer from social anxiety are sensitive to critique and negative feedback. Socially anxious individuals experience any type of feedback very intensely, therefore, trying to avoid them at all costs.
It seems like they have sensors for situations that are deemed as potentially ‘dangerous’ as they expect negative reactions from others. Even neutral statements are sometimes experienced as an attack. For them, any mistakes and subjective assumptions about possible rejection from others are too painful, thus reinforcing irrational negative thinking patterns associated with how they may be perceived.
These irrational negative thinking patterns tend to prevent them from living a more fulfilled life. This can result in avoidance of all social situations that trigger the fear associated with how they’re perceived by others. This gradually grows into very high expectations and standards that make the person aim for a perfection which is almost always impossible to achieve.
Perfectionism is a tendency to feel the need to be or appear to be perfect. These tendencies can have a negative impact on mental health; often being the root cause not only of anxiety but many other mental health conditions such as depression, eating disorders, self-harm and suicidal ideation.
Therapy can help clients become more aware of these tendencies by helping them focus on the positives and allowing mistakes to happen, setting more reasonable and achievable goals, learning how to be open to criticism as well as lowering the pressure that perfectionists often put on themselves.