Ultimate List of Social Anxiety Books
Are you looking for social anxiety books to help you feel better? It’s truly amazing that we live in a world right now where you can have the advice of mental health professionals and experts right at your fingertips, in many cases for less than $20.
For anyone struggling with social anxiety, I implore you: get yourself some self-help books! But also, do the exercises in those books. Otherwise, you aren’t going to notice any improvement.
In fact, what I recommend going is to read books like these for education and information, but then use tools and resources that help you implement what you have learned over and over again. Because, it is through that repetition and practice that you are going to start to change.
That might mean using an app such as Woebot.io or Headspace to practice CBT or mindfulness. Or, it might mean using a bullet journal to track your thoughts or your habits. What you choose will be unique for you. But, it’s important to realize that just reading a book won’t get you anywhere. You’ll need to practice what you learn.
That being said, I’ve compiled a big long list of the main books I would recommend putting on your bookshelf (or your virtual bookshelf if you are choosing Kindle Unlimited or Amazon’s Audible). Some of these are directly about social anxiety. Some are only tangentially so. But they all have one thing in common: they can help you. These are in no particular order.
1. How to Be Yourself by Susan Cain
Have you read the book Quiet by Susan Cain? If so, you may wish to read How to Be Yourself. It can be hard to know how to “be yourself” if you have social anxiety—your natural tendencies to avoid social or performance situations or to shut down when you are in them may have clouded your ability to know who you even are.
This book combines science with practical advice and stores about real people who have overcome social anxiety. Dr. Hendriksen lives with social anxiety herself and has devoted her career to helping others.
(Watch the video below to hear Dr. Hendriksen talk about social anxiety!)
2. Overcome Social Anxiety Step-by-Step by Thomas Richards
Dr. Thomas Richards is the director of the Social Anxiety Institute and his book Overcoming Social Anxiety Step-by-Step is the companion to the audio series that he created to help you overcome social anxiety.
If you aren’t yet sure about investing in the audio series or maybe even flying to Phoenix for their group therapy program, this book could be a good first step.
3. The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook by Martin M. Antony and Richard P. Swinson
Martin M. Antony and Richard P. Swinson’s The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook is the most comprehensive workbook available specifically aimed at social anxiety directly for those wanting to practice self-help. It should be a staple in your library of books on how to overcome social anxiety!
4. Living Fully with Shyness and Social Anxiety by Erika Hilliard
Erika Hilliard goes in-depth in Living Fully With Shyness and Social Anxiety with a variety of topics in this book including blushing, eye contact, body language, shy bladder syndrome, preparing for stressful social situations, medication, and goal setting.
5. Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness by Gillian Butler
Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness by Gillian Butler helps you understand the causes of your social anxiety and use cognitive-behavioral strategies to overcome it.
6. The Social Skills Guidebook by Chris Macleod
If you’re concerned about how to make friends without changing the core of who you are, Chris Macleod has got you covered! In the Social Skills Guidebook, he talks about how to talk to people, how to make friends, and most importantly how to do all of this without feeling cheesy or like you’ve “sold out” on who you are.
7. The Shyness & Social Anxiety Workbook for Teens by Jennifer Shannon
Are you a socially anxious teenager or do you know someone who is? In that case, you might be interested in this book by Jennifer Shannon that helps teens easily use strategies drawn from cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).
8. Rewire Your Anxious Brain by Catherine Pittman and Elizabeth Karle
Rewire Your Anxious Brain picks up where many others leave off by specifically discussing the neuroscience underlying the anxious brain, including how the amygdala and cortex play roles in your anxiety. If you like to know how things work (or why they don’t) in your brain, this book will be of interest.
9. Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong by Kelly Wilson & Troy DuFrene
It’s true! Things might go horribly wrong in social and performance situations. How will you cope? Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong takes a different approach than most and examines how we can go on even though this might (and probably will) go wrong.
10. The Anxiety & Worry Workbook by David Clark and Aaron Beck
Are you interested in learning how to manage your anxiety from the father of CBT? In this workbook, you’ll be instructed on how to use CBT strategies to manage anxiety and worry on your own. It includes worksheets so that you can put what you learn into practice.
11. The Anxiety Workbook
Yep, this book is written by me! If you’re looking for something that’s kind of a light read or you don’t have much exposure to the basics of CBT and mindfulness for anxiety, I think my book is a good place to start. It’s sprinkled with stories (fictional, not based on actual people) to make it more interesting and come to life. I think it’s also a good book for teens to start with.
12. The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Social Anxiety & Shyness by Jan Fleming and Nancy Kocovski
The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Social Anxiety uses the mindfulness and acceptance approach in a workbook format for social anxiety. Most books on how to overcome social anxiety use a CBT approach, so this workbook offers a nice alternative strategy.
13. Getting Over Stage Fright by Janet Esposito
Janet Esposito is known for being the guiding force behind the “Getting Over Stage Fright” workshops in Connecticut. In her book, Getting Over Stage Fright, she shares a holistic method for managing anxiety about all types of speaking or performing situations.
14. In the Spotlight: Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking and Performing by Janet Esposito
Once again, in the book In the Spotlight, Janet Esposito discusses how to get over your fear of public speaking and performing.
15. The Solution to Social Anxiety: Break Free From the Shyness that Holds You Back
In this book, Aziz Gazipura talks about how to speak up assertively, advance in your career, stop worrying about what people think, and how to be more charming. He also discusses how to have more luck with women (this book is aimed at men, ladies be aware!). If you’re looking for something more of a “how-to” guide for being more confident as a guy, this book might be up your alley.
16. The Self Confidence Workbook
If you aren’t looking just to manage your social anxiety, but also to boost your self confidence and self esteem, then you might be interested in a book that digs a little deeper into these topics. In the Self Confidence Workbook, long-time social anxiety writer Barbara Markway talks about how to boost your self confidence and self esteem.
What about you? Have you read any good books on how to overcome social anxiety?
P.S. – If you’re purchasing any of these books from Amazon, be sure to first sign up for Ebates first! Ebates is a cashback reward service that gives you money back on your online purchases. If you sign up through this link, you’ll receive a $10 bonus in your account.
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