The Shyness and Social Anxiety System is a social phobia support program created by Sean Cooper, an ex-sufferer of social anxiety and shyness. Comprising of three eBooks and a private member’s support group, Sean’s system provides a guide to the latest thinking on what causes social anxiety and the techniques he developed to overcome it and live a more fulfilling life.
There’s no shortage of books and websites that already cover the principles of what causes social anxiety and how it can be treated. And most of them are, quite frankly, cheaper than Sean’s $29 system. So is the investment worth it? Does it offer anything new that can knock aside the social phobia barrier that’s blocking your enjoyment of life? Or does it cover the same advice you can easily find elsewhere for less money?
What does the Shyness and Social Anxiety System cover?
The main 113 page eBook in the Shyness and Social Anxiety System takes a pragmatic approach to overcoming social phobia. Rather than dwell on the past and allow excuses for avoiding human interaction, it focuses on practical steps you can take to improve your social skills and life.
The first section discusses why social anxiety (in most instances) is a ‘learned behaviour’ driven by an extreme fear of people’s disapproval. While genetics and childhood environment can play a part, Sean focuses on how it isn’t a condition you’re automatically born with or a physical problem that can only be numbed/treated with medication. As it’s a condition that’s learned, Sean explains how it can be unlearned.
How does Sean’s system help you to overcome social anxiety?
The cornerstone of overcoming social anxiety (in both my own and Sean’s opinion) is raising self esteem and changing your mindset. I remember that when I discovered that it was negative, inaccurate thoughts that were driving my social phobia it was like someone switching on the light. It gave me a vision of a way out of feeling isolated and uncomfortable all the time.
Hiding away at home and avoiding people isn’t the answer. Instead Sean’s answer is to embrace the fear that drives social anxiety, rather than run away from them. I know this sounds daunting, but Sean explains it really is the only long-term way – unless you want to spend your life on medication and the numbness that goes with it.
However, Sean doesn’t simply push you out the door and wish you the best. He outlines the techniques he used to respond to the uncomfortable physical and mental symptoms of social anxiety, such as muscle relaxation, acceptance of the problem and allowing yourself the flexibility to make mistakes.
The third part of the book focuses on how to correct what, most likely, is driving your social anxiety in the first place: an inaccurate value system and a low sense of self worth. Sean studies in-depth the reasons why your value system might be out of sync, such as basing your value system on comparisons with other people and why social anxiety, for many people, is driven by a feeling that you’re hiding a big secret which will cause people to reject you.
Does it cover anything new?
If you’ve already been reading up on social anxiety, been seeing a therapist or taken a cognitive behavioral therapy course then a lot of these principles probably sound familiar. And that’s not really surprising because we’re not walking around blindly grasping for explanations on what causes social anxiety. It affects millions of people around the world; it has been well researched and studied by clinical behavioral psychologists. We know why it happens and how to treat it.
However, what Sean’s book does do is offer a down practical advice on overcoming it. He writes in a friendly conversational tone that’s motivating and gets across the feeling that he’s there with you encouraging you to take the steps to deal with it. His approach of facing the fear and rewiring your brain, rather than relying on short-term coping strategies, is also a more ballsy and (in my opinion) effective approach then you might find elsewhere.
In addition, Sean goes beyond simply explaining how to feel more comfortable in social situations. He goes on to explain the steps you need to take to become more spontaneous and to speak without thinking (rather than mentally having to clear everything before you say it). This goes beyond the advice I’ve found elsewhere and can take you to a more advanced level of recovery.
What about the bonus eBooks?
In addition to the core eBook, you also get ‘What to Say Next’ and ‘Social Circle from Scratch’.
‘What to Say Next’ provides guidance on how to get better at what everyone with social anxiety struggles with: conversation. Sean explains how you can grow your conversational muscles through his ‘conversation thread technique’ which trains you to know how to respond to the things people say. The aim is that it enables you to become more immersed in subjects and conversation becomes natural as a result.
The ‘Social Circle from Scratch’ eBook outlines the tactics and techniques Sean developed for growing his social network. If you’ve been suffering from social anxiety for a long time then you might find yourself isolated and stuck at home wondering whether you’ll ever be able to enjoy the active life everyone else seems to lead. Sean explains how it can be done, through techniques such as getting on people’s social radar, ways of meeting people and how to strike up conversations.
Sean also drives home the importance of taking action. Staying at home feeling miserable is not going to help you. Taking steps, no matter how small, towards being more socially active is the only way.
I found both of the bonus eBooks to be very informative. They both covered principles I hadn’t read elsewhere and offer real, practical advice on the steps to take if you want to overcome your social anxiety and live a more fulfilling life.
So is the Shyness and Social Anxiety System worth the money?
I think deciding whether the Shyness and Social Anxiety System is worth buying really depends on where you are in your recovery. If you’ve already read some books on social anxiety (e.g. Feeling Good by Dr David Burns or Overcoming Social Anxiety by Gillian Butler) then many of the principles in the first half of the main eBook wont be anything new. However, Sean’s focus on facing the fear is an approach I’d recommend over the coping techniques covered in other books. I also think his conversational, easy to read style and the eBooks’ relatively short length will be more appealing to someone who’s just started on their road to recovery and would like to understand the condition and what to do about it within an afternoon’s reading.
As always, if you’re suffering from severe social anxiety, and struggle to even get out of the house, then you should get professional help, whether it’s a doctor or a therapist. But in more moderate cases where you’re struggling with social interaction, suffer from the physical nervousness or want to stop feeling that you’re ‘being watched’ all the time then Sean’s system is certainly worth a look. $29 might sound like a lot, but if it saves you the time of piecing everything together yourself from around the internet, or the thought of reading a 300 page book sounds daunting, then Sean’s system is a good option. He also offers a 60 day money back guarantee, so if you’re not happy with the Shyness and Social Anxiety System then you can always get your money back.
Disclaimer – The links in this article are affiliate links. That means I earn commission for any sales of Sean’s system referred through this site. As an ex-sufferer, I hope you can trust in the fact that this is an honest review based on actually reading the books and judging how their information compares to my own experiences and research. But if you prefer, this is a non affiliated link to his website:
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Originally posted 2013-01-13 17:48:16. Republished by Blog Post Promoter