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The 50 Greatest Self-Help Books

Best Self Help Books















Social Anxiety Disorder
Self Help Books

Social anxiety - or shyness - affects millions of people, and often gets in the way of successfully negotiating adult life. There may be both biochemical and psychosocial components of social anxiety. A combination of medication and psychotherapy with a cognitive-behavioral therapist can be useful in moderate to severe cases. Continue reading Social Anxiety article»

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The self help books listed in this section provide solid, practical advice for the socially anxious person. They offer exercises, affirmations, encouragement and techniques for overcoming this painful and isolating condition.

See also:Communication Skills; Self Esteem and Self Confidence; Anxiety and Panic Disorder; Meditation

Best Self Help Books on Social Anxiety Disorder

The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine AaronThe Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook by Anthony and Swinson"These are the Social Anxiety self help books I recommend most frequently."
David Yarian, Ph.D.






More Recommended Self Help Books on Social Anxiety Disorder

The Compassionate-Mind Guide to Building Social ConfidenceThe Compassionate-Mind Guide to Building Social Confidence: Using Compassion-Focused Therapy to Overcome Shyness and Social Anxiety
Lynne Henderson and Paul Gilbert

Shyness is a universal human emotion, a blend of fear and interest, and is associated with many positive personality traits: a considerate nature, thoughtfulness, and the ability to be a good listener, among others. However, withdrawing from people has negative consequences also, and if you're very shy, you’ve probably experienced some of them: loneliness, depression, and self-blaming thoughts. The Compassionate-Mind Guide to Building Social Confidence offers a compassionate, supportive program to help you move beyond social anxiety and the self-critical thoughts that propel it. 2011, New Harbinger Publications


Dying of Embarrassment: Help for Social Anxiety & Phobia by Markway, Pollard, Flynn, CarminDying of Embarrassment: Help for Social Anxiety & Phobia
Barbara G. Markway, C. Alec Pollard, Teresa Flynn, Cheryl N. Carmin

Americans struggle with anxiety. Among the disorder's most common forms is social phobia, a persistent fear of scrutiny and evaluation by others. Social phobia cripples the lives of some 15 to 20 percent of the US population. This distressing social anxiety includes the fear of public speaking (stage fright), performing in social and creative situations (test anxiety, writers' block), eating in restaurants, and dating. If you suffer from the symptoms of social anxiety disorder, this self help book offers clinically proven strategies to overcome them and start living a life of confidence. 1992, New Harbinger


The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine AaronThe Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You
Elaine N. Aaron

Author Elaine Aron says that highly sensitive persons make up 15-20% of the population. Because society rewards the out-going personality and treats shyness and sensitivity as problems to be overcome, sensitive people often struggle with self-esteem and self-confidence. This self help book helps the sensitive person to recognize his or her strengths and to learn strategies for coping with social discomfort. 1999, Replica BooksA 50 Greatest Self Help Book



Intimate Connections: The New Clinically Tested Program for Overcoming Loneliness by David BurnsIntimate Connections: The New Clinically Tested Program for Overcoming Loneliness
David Burns

Burns believes that loneliness stems from the assumption that a loving partner is needed before one can feel happy. He emphasizes that the most important step in overcoming loneliness is befriending oneself. Burns describes how to make social connections, how to get close to others and how to improve sexual relationships. This is a practical self help book which includes checklists, worksheets and a number of self-assessment instruments for guiding the process of learning to overcome loneliness. 1985, Morrow


Living Fully with Shyness and Social AnxietyLiving Fully with Shyness and Social Anxiety: A Comprehensive Guide to Gaining Social Confidence
Erika B. Hilliard

Anxiety disorders affect more than 19 million people in the U.S. In Living Fully with Shyness and Social Anxiety Hilliard offers a complete guide to living fully and confidently with such conditions. In warm, reassuring language, she provides effective guidance on how to calm your body, blushing, eye contact, body language, medications, heart racing, goal setting, shy bladder syndrome, cultivating positive thoughts, and ways to prepare for stressful social situations in everyday life. 2005, Da Capo Press


Overcoming Shyness and Social Phobia by Ronald RapeeOvercoming Shyness and Social Phobia: A Step-by-Step Guide
Ronald Rapee

This book provides a detailed program for eliminating social anxieties based on cognitive-behavioral treatments for social phobia. The techniques have been extensively tested and shown to be significantly more beneficial than medication and other types of psychotherapy. This self help book is written in simple language and provides a commonsense approach to treatment. 1998, Rowman and Littlefield


Shyness: A bold New Approach by Carducci and GolantShyness: A Bold New Approach
Bernardo Carducci and Susan Golant

Carducci defines shyness as a personality trait rather than an emotional disorder. Acknowledging the challenges of being shy in western culture, the author teaches readers to live a “successfully shy life” rather than attempting to turn introverts into extroverts. Useful self help advice based on sound research and clinical wisdom. 2000, Perennial


The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook by Anthony and SwinsonThe Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook: Proven Techniques for Overcoming Your Fears
Martin Anthony and Richard Swinson

Social anxiety disorder is the fear of situations that involve interaction with other people, ranging from anxiety before a scheduled public appearance to shyness that leads to withdrawal from contact at a casual social event. This self help workbook is designed to help the reader overcome these paralyzing social phobias and provides skill-building exercises for improvement of communication, public speaking, and general anxiety. 2008, New Harbinger 


Shyness: What It Is, What to Do About It by Philip G. ZimbardoShyness: What It Is, What to Do About It
Philip G. Zimbardo

This pioneering self help book was the first to address shyness without pathologizing. Dr. Zimbardo, a noted professor of psychology at Stanford, helps men and women, young and old, overcome this self-defeating condition. Zimbardo helps people to understand their shyness and how they got this way. Possible reasons include: criticism, fear of being rejected, fear of intimacy, and lack of adequate social skills. The book explains fifteen steps to building self-esteem and self-confidence and provides techniques for improving social skills. 1990, Addison-Wesley


Social Anxiety by Leary and KowalskiSocial Anxiety
Mark R. Leary, Robin Mark Kowalski

This compendium of the research literature on social anxiety covers the interpersonal basis of the disorder. It looks at how self-presentation, expectancies, self-efficacy, interpersonal behavior, and motivation contribute to the subjective aspects of social anxiety - physical, mental, and emotional. 1997, The Guilford Press


Social Anxiety Disorder Self Help Resources