How Interest-Based Communities Help Those with Social Anxiety

SocialEngine - Community Software

With social anxiety being the number one disorder troubling today’s society, it is only natural that we collectively look for effective solutions. Fortunately, one solution, the beginning of a path to healthy interaction, is profoundly simple: interest-based communities offer a natural solution on several fronts.
First let’s look at some of the fears that keep those with social anxiety from making connections with those around them.

  1. Being Over-Shadowed – Imagine, you show up to your new job and you see all over the other employees’ cars, all of those experienced, knowledgeable, and out-going coworkers. There is simply no way that even your best qualities can compare to that. Infinitely better to just go home.
  2. Having Nothing to Say – You finally made yourself get dressed and go to a party, against your better judgement. Now what? You tried to talk to the nicest person there, and after got stuck after “Hi, so… You like parties…?” Why do you even try?
  3. Subsequent Rejection – And there it is, those knowledgable and kind people won’t have anything to say to you either, and won’t want to work with you. They’ll just wish you stayed home too.

The list could go on: the debilitating fears are real. But community offers solutions that are just as real.

  1. Every Member Matters – Well-managed communities are designed to give people voices. Some voices will always be louder than others, but the structure ensures that each member’s voice — regardless of their talents or level of expertise and involvement — is valued and taken into account.
  2. Inherent Conversation Material – Interest-based communities bring people together based on common ground. Community members join because the group represents something that they are passionate about. And this interest, this shared passion, provides endless conversation material.
  3. Confident Inclusion – Communities provide natural accountability even for those who are least inclined to involve themselves. Knowing that you will always be welcome, even when you are feeling the most reclusive, gives the freedom and flexibility to confidently reach out to others.

Even if the progress is slow, interest-based communities provide a natural solution for many of the issues that plague a large percentage of today’s society. Social anxiety can cause mental and emotional struggles that make interaction not only intimidating, but nearly impossible, but community creates a path out of the isolation and into healthy human interaction.
That’s all we’ve got for now! As always, if you are feeling inspired to get out there and build your own community, we encourage you to check out SocialEngine. Let us help you make your dreams of building your own social network a reality.

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