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Home » Why You Feel Anxious Socializing (and What to Do about It): Fallon Goodman (Transcript)

Why You Feel Anxious Socializing (and What to Do about It): Fallon Goodman (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of Fallon Goodman’s talk titled “Why You Feel Anxious Socializing (and What to Do about It)” at TED conference.

In this TED talk, psychologist Fallon Goodman delves into the complexities of social anxiety and its profound impact on individuals’ lives. Goodman, drawing from her extensive experience as a therapist, highlights how social anxiety is rooted in the fear of rejection and the desire to avoid negative judgments from others.

She emphasizes that while social anxiety is a protective mechanism, it can become problematic when it hinders personal goals and quality of life. Throughout her talk, Goodman dispels common myths about social anxiety, such as the notion that those who suffer from it prefer to be alone. Importantly, she shares insights into the prevalence of social anxiety disorder, noting its underdiagnosis and the significant number of people it affects globally.

Goodman advocates for early detection and intervention, leveraging technology and fostering social courage as effective strategies for managing social anxiety. Her talk is a compelling call to action, encouraging individuals to seek understanding, support, and solutions for navigating the challenges of social anxiety.

Listen to the audio version here:


Each person who entered our therapy clinic answered a stack of questions before beginning treatment. And during my years as a therapist there, there was one question I always reviewed before meeting with a new client. It asked this: “What is your purpose in life?” Defined as a central motivating life aim, something you’re trying to accomplish.

The Impact of Social Anxiety

Now, to be fair, this is a difficult question. Identifying a single purpose in life feels really hard. It also feels consequential. Many people spend years searching for and developing their purposes, and some never find it.

But typically, we see responses like this: to be an engaged parent, to make meaningful change in my community, to build a career I’m proud of, to live for a long time, just keeping it simple. But then there was the answer of one young woman who I worked with. Before meeting with her, as I always did, I flipped to see how she described her purpose. And she wrote this: “To avoid being noticed by other people.”

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