I have suffered from social anxiety for a large proportion of my adult life. Even on-line I experienced it. It caused me to be a recluse despite the fact that the most enjoyable moments of my life have been amongst people. Thankfully this has been remedied by mindfulness.
Anxiety can be quite a tricksy emotion.
The problem with anxiety is that it can be caused by so many things and most of the things we think cause it don’t actually cause it. I have found that in me anxiety is caused by lack of activity, coffee, cannabis and thoughts. The first three are easily remedied – you just stop them or exercise – but the last one, thought, is not so easy to remedy.
Thought causes anxiety by providing a false explanation for the anxiety which then becomes a belief. Then because of this belief when the false cause occurs anxiety occurs. An example of this would be someone who one day consumes a large quantity of coffee. As a result of this he experiences anxiety. But his mind instead of seeing the cause of the anxiety in the coffee seeks for a cause in exterior reality. In my case it latched onto people as the cause though this isn’t always the case. (Sometimes it can latch onto information concerning bacteria or any object.) He will often justify feeling anxious because of people by thinking things like “I am earning less than them.”, “I am ugly.” or many such thoughts. As a result of this thought process he now believes that his anxiety is caused by social situations rather then the consumption of coffee.
Of course this is my subjective opinion and I also believe that it is probably much more complex than this. It’s just the result of my own internal analysis.