“What other people think of me is none of my business.”– Wayne Dyer, American spiritual author and a motivational speaker
“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”– Lao-Tze, ancient Chinese philosopher and writer
“I realized that bullying never has to do with you. It’s the bully who’s insecure.”– Shannon Ashley Garcia Mitchell, Canadian actress, model, entrepreneur & author
“Shyness is invariably a suppression of something. It’s almost a fear of what you’re capable of.”– Rhys Ifans, Welsh actor, producer, & singer
“Scientists have found the gene for shyness. They would have found it years ago, but it was hiding behind a couple of other genes.”― Jonathan Katz, American Comedian & Actor
“I don’t like going out. I’m more of a watch TV, hang out, Netflix kind of guy. I don’t like leaving; I don’t like talking to people. It gives me anxiety.”– Pete Davidson, American comedian, actor, writer & producer
“Shyness is about the fear of social judgments – at a job interview or a party you might be excessively worried about what people think of you. Whereas an introvert might not feel any of those things at all, they simply have the preference to be in a quieter setting.”– Susan Cain, American Writer & Lecturer
“L’enfer, c’est les autres [Hell is other people].”― Sartre, French Philosopher
“People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them.“– Epictetus, Greek Stoic Philosopher
“Nothing so much prevents our being natural as our desire to seem so.”― François de La Rochefoucauld, French Author
“We are always doing something to cover up our basic existential anxiety. Some people live that way until the day they die.”― Joko Beck, American Author
“A stammering man is never a worthless one. Physiology can tell you why. It is an excess of delicacy, excess of sensibility to the presence of his fellow creature, that makes him stammer.”― Thomas Carlyle, British Historian, satirical writer, essayist, translator, philosopher, mathematician, and teacher
“He was of an impressible nature, and lived a great deal in other people’s opinions and feelings concerning himself…”― George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), English novelist, poet, journalist, and translator
People with social anxiety disorder often live with the sensation of being the only one struggling with insecurity in social situations. In reality, social anxiety is a very common phenomenon. This is not only true today, but it seems to have accompanied a significant proportion of people throughout human history.
Already Hippocrates described symptoms of social phobia in a patient more than 2000 years ago: “He dare not come in company for fear he should be misused, disgraced, overshoot himself in gestures or speeches or be sick; he thinks every man observes him.” (Burton, 1845).
“All I feel are the assaults of apprehension and terror at the thought that I am the only one who is entirely unlike the rest. It is almost impossible for me to converse with other people. What should I talk about, how should I say it? – I don’t know.”― Osamu Dazai, Japanese Author
“The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.”― Ernest Hemingway, American journalist, novelist, and short-story writer
“Today I escaped anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions — not outside.”― Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor & Stoic Philosopher
“Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.”― Albert Camus, French philosopher, author, and journalist
“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.”― Eleanor Roosevelt, American political figure, diplomat and activist
“Suddenly he saw himself as others in the crowd must surely see him; a silent, solitary figure, standing apart from the rest. He looked out at the hoardes of singing, laughing people and felt more alone than he’d ever felt in his life. Was this how it was going to be then? Was this who he was? A man apart from his fellows, making the journey through life alone?”― Mary Lawson, Canadian novelist
“It’s sad, actually, because my anxiety keeps me from enjoying things as much as I should in this age.”― Amanda Seyfried, American actress, singer, and model
“When all by myself, I can think of all kinds of clever remarks, quick comebacks to what no one said, and flashes of witty sociability with nobody. But all of this vanishes when I face someone in the flesh: I lose my intelligence, I can no longer speak, and after half an hour I just feel tired. Talking to people makes me feel like sleeping. Only my ghostly and imaginary friends, only the conversations I have in my dreams, are genuinely real and substantial.”― Fernando Pessoa, Portuguese poet, writer, literary critic, translator, publisher and philosopher
“Self-consciousness is the enemy of all art, be it acting, writing, painting, or living itself, which is the greatest art of all.”― Ray Bradbury, American Author
“I’ve spent most of my life and most of my friendships holding my breath and hoping that when people get close enough they won’t leave, and fearing that it’s a matter of time before they figure me out and go.”― Shauna Niequist, American author and a blogger
“If I could be always alone with god, entirely indifferent about the opinions of men…I should reach a state to which I aspire, but have not yet attained.”― Henry Martyn, Anglican priest
“I have social anxiety. It’s easier up on stage because there’s security in being there. When I’m off stage I’m trying not to be a manic freak. I’m quite shy.”― Sia Furler, Australian singer-songwriter
“When he is in the room with other persons, speech stops, as if there were a corpse in the apartment.”― Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, and poet
“Wild animals run from the dangers they actually see, and once they have escaped them worry no more. We however are tormented alike by what is past and what is to come. A number of our blessings do us harm, for memory brings back the agony of fear while foresight brings it on prematurely. No one confines his unhappiness to the present.”― Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Roman Stoic philosopher and dramatist
“Now that I have conquered social anxiety disorder, I find pleasure in fans approaching me.”― Ricky Williams, American football running back
“The shy and the extroverted have this in common – that they both fancy they are the center of attention.”― Robert Breault, American Operatic Tenor
“I learned years ago that it’s okay to do this. To seek out small spaces for me, to stop and imagine myself alone. People are too much sometimes. Friends, acquaintances, enemies, strangers. It doesn’t matter; they all crowd. Even if they’re all the way across the room, they crowd. I take a moment of silence and think:
I am here. I am okay.”― Francesca Zappia, American Author and artists
“The fear of being laughed at makes cowards of us all.”― Mignon McLaughlin, American journalist and author
“Into the dark night― Stevie Smith, English poet and novelist
Resignedly I go,
I am not so afraid of the dark night
As the friends I do not know,
I do not fear the night above
As I fear the friends below.”
“It exasperated her to think that the dungeon in which she had languished for so many unhappy years had been unlocked all the time, and that the impulses she had so carefully struggled with and stifled for the sake of keeping well with society, were precisely those by which alone she could have come into any sort of sincere human contact.”― George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright, critic, polemicist and political activist
“I wondered how many people there were in the world who suffered, and continued to suffer, because they could not break out from their own web of shyness and reserve, and in their blindness and folly built up a great distorted wall in front of them that hid the truth.”― Daphne du Maurier, English Author & Playwright
We know how difficult it can be to live with social anxiety and to find valuable, trustworthy information about it. That’s why we have created this website.
Conquer Social Anxiety is a hub which provides all the relevant information about SAD in one spot. We invite you to take a look around and educate yourself about your struggle with SAD, as this increases your chances of conquering it.
By the way, we offer a free 7-day email course for those looking to conquer their social anxiety.
You will gain insight into your triggers and symptoms, learn practical tools for both short-term and long-term anxiety relief, and get on the path to a happier, more confident you with expert guidance.
If you are interested, click the button below to learn more and get started!
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Special thanks to goodreads, whose quote collection helped us put this list together.
About the Author: Martin Stork
Martin is a professional psychologist with a background in physical therapy. He has organized and led various support groups for people with social anxiety in Washington, DC and Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is the founder of Conquer Social Anxiety Ltd, where he operates as a writer, therapist and director. You can click here to find out more about Martin.