Speak Fluent English And Beat Social Anxiety With Adept English Ep 679

A characterised photo of an anxious woman. Are you avoiding social events? Our new podcast dives deep into overcoming social anxiety. Get back in the game!

๐Ÿ“ Author: Hilary

๐Ÿ“… Published:

๐Ÿ’ฌ 4448 words โ–ช๏ธ โณ Reading Time 23 min

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English Listening Practice: Are You Ready To Reclaim Your Life From The Jaws Of Anxiety?

Tired of feeling tongue-tied in social situations AND struggling with English? Smash both barriers with this game-changing lesson from Adept English! ๐ŸŽฏ

Why You Can't Miss This Lesson:

  • Crack the Social Anxiety Code: Understand its roots, so you can kick it out of your life! ๐ŸŒณ
  • Two Birds, One Podcast: Improve your English while tackling real-life issues. Efficiency, baby! ๐Ÿš€
  • Expert Advice: Our host Hilary isn't just any teacher; she's a psychotherapist. Get tips from someone who knows her stuff! ๐ŸŽ“
  • Actionable Steps: This isn't a lecture; it's a roadmap! Score your anxieties, take baby steps, and conquer the social scene. ๐Ÿ›ฃ๏ธ
  • The Power of Repetition: Just like mastering English, overcoming social fears needs practice. Get a dose of both! ๐Ÿ”„

โœ”Lesson transcript: https://adeptenglish.com/lessons/english-listening-practice-overcoming-social-anxiety-english-lesson/

Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass... It's about learning how to dance in the rain.
โญ Vivian Greene

So, if you're dead-set on breaking free from social anxiety and turbocharging your English skills, this is the life-altering lesson you've been waiting for! Feel ready to face the world yet? Let's turn that โ€˜maybe somedayโ€™ into a roaring โ€˜HECK YEAH!โ€™ ๐Ÿค˜

Afraid to speak up at parties or even answer the phone at work? We've got the solution you didn't know you were searching for. Imagine turning social dread into a playground of opportunity! Adept English invites you to discover the life-changing hacks to conquer social anxiety, a topic we've cracked open before due to massive demand.

Hilary, your expert guide, will not only reveal what social anxiety is costing you but will also hand you practical tips to defeat it. Transform your social life today by tuning into our latest podcastโ€”because what you're avoiding could be the key to your success!

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
โญ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Turn the volume up and press play. We're diving deep into social anxiety while upgrading your English. Time to break those social barriers! ๐ŸŽง #listenandlearn

๐ŸŽ™๏ธ Don't Miss Out! Hit that follow button and subscribe to our Adept English podcast. Take the first step to a more confident, fluent you. ๐ŸŽ‰

More About This Lesson

Afraid of speaking at parties or answering the phone at work? Don't worry, Adept English has your back! Tune into our latest podcast and discover how to turn your social worries into new chances for success. Our expert, Hilary, walks you through the maze of social anxiety and hands you easy tips to defeat it. Plus, you improve your English while you're at it!

The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.
โญ Joseph Campbell

Things you will learn in today's English listening lesson:

  1. Common Vocabulary: Use of everyday words like "avoid," "anxious," and "confidence" builds vocabulary.
  2. Idiomatic Phrases: Phrases like "dropping yourself in the deep end" and "put yourself out there" enrich language skills.
  3. Real-world Context: Discusses social anxiety, a topic relatable to many, making the language learning more engaging.
  4. Verbs & Actions: Use of active verbs like "avoid," "fix," and "grow" to discuss the problem and solutions.
  5. Pronunciation: Words like "anxiety" and "therapist" offer pronunciation challenges.
  6. Complex Sentences: Provides a mix of sentence structures that allow learners to understand context.
  7. Transitional Phrases: Use of transition words like "So," "But," and "And then" help in following the narrative.
  8. Topic Sentences: Each paragraph has clear topic sentences, aiding in understanding.
  9. Examples and Scenarios: Use of real-world examples such as parties, work calls, and family dynamics for context.
  10. Question and Answer Format: The tutor asks rhetorical questions like "Can I overcome this?", aiding engagement.
  11. Interlinked Topics: References to past podcast episodes offer a chance for more in-depth study.
  12. Technical Terms: Words like "psychotherapist" offer exposure to more specialized vocabulary.

Benefits of our listen & learn approach to learning

  • Double Win: You improve your English skills and also learn to conquer social fears.
  • Real Vocabulary: Pick up important words like "anxiety" and "avoidance."
  • Social Confidence: Learn how English speakers chat about tough topics. It helps you get better at socializing in English.
Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.
โญ Arthur Somers Roche

Ever felt uneasy talking to people? Unlock freedom from social anxiety! Check out our new podcast episode. It's more than just tips; it's a life-changer.

  1. Beat Many Fears: Our podcast teaches you to deal with fears like worrying about what people think of you or being scared you'll run out of things to say.
  2. Simple Tips: You get easy-to-follow advice like starting with small social situations.
  3. New Words and Phrases: Words shape your thinking. Learn new words that help you talk about your feelings.
  4. Action Plans: We give you step-by-step plans to fight social anxiety.

Ready to live a life free from social anxiety and also get better at English? Hit the play button on our podcast. It's a step that can change your life. Don't miss this chance, follow and subscribe to Adept English Podcast now!

Questions You Might Have...

Dive into Adept English's podcast like you're stepping into a mind gym. Here, you'll train mental muscles to battle social anxiety, a villain we all encounter at some point. Just like a boxer sharpens his punches, you'll gain actionable tips to tackle social fears. Stop avoiding and start engaging! With Adept English, you don't just learn a language, you unlock a newer, more confident self. Listen today, and let the transformation begin.

  1. What Is the Main Goal of This Adept English Podcast? The primary goal is to help you combat social anxiety through actionable advice, while simultaneously improving your English fluency. By tuning in, you're not just working on your language skills; you're also getting tools to transform your social life.
  2. How Does Adept English Approach Social Anxiety in the Podcast? The podcast, hosted by Hilary, provides real-world examples and techniques for tackling social anxiety. They draw upon psychological concepts, like behavioural change and childhood influences, offering a well-rounded view. This isn't just a language lesson; it's a life lesson.
  3. Is This Podcast Only About Social Anxiety or Does It Also Help with English Fluency? It's a dual-purpose podcast. While you get insights and strategies for overcoming social anxiety, you also gain exposure to common vocabulary and conversational topics in English. It's a win-win: as your social anxiety lessens, your English fluency grows.
  4. What Can I Expect to Learn in Terms of English Language Skills? In addition to advice on handling social anxiety, the podcast introduces you to common vocabulary words like "avoid," "anxiety," and "confidence." It encourages active listening, which is key to Adept English's "listen & learn" philosophy. The more you listen, the more naturally language will flow for you.
  5. How Does This Podcast Align with Adept English's Course Offerings? The podcast is part of a broader spectrum of resources Adept English offers. For more focused learning, you can opt for Course One, "Activate Your Listening," available on the Adept English website. This course dives deeper into English conversation topics and complements the free resources like this podcast.

Most Unusual Words:

  • Resonates: Connects or appeals to you emotionally or intellectually.
  • Anxiety: The feeling of worry or nervousness.
  • Psychotherapist: A person who helps with mental and emotional problems.
  • Prone: Likely to experience or do something.
  • In-depth: Very detailed and thorough.
  • Anxiety-provoking: Causes worry or nervousness.
  • Traumatising: Causes severe emotional pain or distress.
  • Imposing: Impressive and big, often used when you act in a way that pushes onto other people.
  • Empathic: Understanding and sharing someone else's feelings.
  • Reconnecting: Establishing a connection again after being apart or losing touch.

Most Frequently Used Words:


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Transcript: Speak Fluent English And Beat Social Anxiety With Adept English

Do you cross the street to avoid speaking with someone you know?

Hi there. Have you ever avoided a friend in the street because you think they haven't seen you yet and you'd like to avoid just that casual conversation? Don't worry, you're not alone if you do this! Today we're diving into a topic that resonates with many people - that of social anxiety. But guess what? You can fix this. Listen to this podcast for tips and advice on what to do about social anxiety. Advice that could change the rest of your life. We've touched on this topic before. Social anxiety is that horrible feeling you get when the office party is coming up or when friends arrange a get together and your anxiety just rises. It grows and grows. And it's not just feeling shy. Social anxiety is a difficulty that can affect your career and your social life. So I touched on this topic before in podcast 656 . Anxiety is the word we use for 'worry'. And 'social anxiety' is when we worry what other people think of us, and we're scared of social interaction.

Hello, Iโ€™m Hilary, and youโ€™re listening to Adept English. We will help you to speak English fluently. All you have to do is listen. So start listening now and find out how it works.

In podcast 656, I gave you a full description of what this feels like, what social anxiety is like. Social anxiety has a big cost. And after that podcast, lots of people reached out, wanting advice on what they could do about their social anxiety. So this podcast will be useful to you. I'm going to give you advice and tips here.

We aim to cover great topics to keep you interested, to keep you listening while your English language learning also improves. So, another dual purpose podcast today.


A photograph a mum walking with children. Office party coming up? Don't let social anxiety spoil the fun. Our latest podcast episode guides you through it.

ยฉ๏ธ Adept English 2023

Don't forget Course One: Activate Your Listening to develop your English conversation

Don't forget also, if you'd like to learn common vocabulary and common conversation topics in English and you want to hear and work on conversations in English to prepare for speaking English, then buy our Course One, Activate Your Listening. This course gives you so much practice at common English conversation topics. And of course, it's available on our website right now at adeptenglish.com. It's a more focused and in-depth study than our podcasts, even though the podcasts are really good, of course! So go to our website and have a look at that course today.

Boost Your Learning With Adept English

Can you fix social anxiety? And if so, how?

So is social anxiety something that you can fix? As I said, many of you reached out after our last episode, asking 'Can I overcome this?'. And the answer is, of course, yes! The best way to fix social anxiety is by going to therapy. And of course, that's the context where I normally work with this problem, as a psychotherapist. It's worth understanding what made you like this. What were the influences when you were growing up that led to social anxiety? While I do believe that some people are born more prone to anxiety than others, I do think that there are many environmental factors that lead to social anxiety as well. Your experience growing up is unique to you, but there are some common themes often. And these may surprise you!

Understanding where social anxiety comes from

One theme, if your parents are themselves socially anxious, as a child you're likely to pick this up. Not only does it mean that you miss out on the modelling of what 'confident' looks like, but understandably, as a child, you reason 'Oh my goodness, if mum and dad can't cope socially with the world, how on earth can I?'. Even this is not a given. Some children with socially anxious parents still become confident adults. It's as though they decide to go the opposite direction.

Another reason? In order to grow social confidence, children need to learn to take risks in social situations. They need to put themselves 'out there'. And to find ways of managing socially difficult situations themselves. Sometimes overly-protective parents keep children very close to them. Or give the children just too much support, and it doesn't give the child room to grow. It can be hard to let go as a parent, to trust your teenager, to get the train themselves, to visit the big city themselves for a day out, to go to university, to go to parties.

Parents who are anxious or parents who want to maintain that closeness, that close bond with their teenager, can sometimes interfere with this development and this 'confidence making'. Surely, the whole point of bringing children up is so that they arrive at independence in the end, even though it can be painful to let them go! So those and many other reasons, like negative past experiences, such as being bullied at school, can make social anxiety a problem.

To change your social anxiety, stop avoiding!

While I say it's good to understand its origin, the main way to tackle it, the main way to solve it, is to examine your behaviour, understand it and change it.

Socially anxious people avoid. That's 'to avoid', A V O I D. And it means 'to stay away from things'. To stay away from people and situations. So socially anxious people say 'No' to social get-togethers. They avoid conversations. They avoid that person on the street that they know, so they don't have to talk to them.

And avoiding is just the worst thing that you can do! It's this avoiding that in the end places all those sad restrictions on your life, stops you fulfilling your potential. But more than that, it robs you of the opportunity to practise social interaction and to actually grow the confidence that's missing.

So stop 'keeping yourself safe', that's "safe" in inverted commas, not really safe, by avoiding what makes you anxious. Avoidance is the number one enemy here. You're digging yourself deeper into the problem by avoiding. The key here is 'non-avoidance'! If you avoid what's difficult, how can you practise and get better?

Layers of an onion to understand 'levels of social comfort'

What makes socially anxious people anxious varies a lot from person to person. Everyone is a little different. The 'onion analogy' is useful here. An onion, O N I O N, is a vegetable. And if you imagine cutting an onion in half, you can see all the layers inside. That's L A Y E R S.

Well, people have social layers, like the layers of an onion. Most people have friends and family at the core. People they're generally comfortable with. Most people with social anxiety feel OK with this 'inner circle'. But as we move to the outer layers of the onion, where you know people less well and arrive at complete strangers, generally people's anxiety here is much greater. Can you relate to that? That's the more usual version of social anxiety.

But for some people, even the friends and family are anxiety-provoking. Sometimes people fear that the longer they spend with close friends and family, the more the likelihood is that they'll be discovered to be boring, or strange, or even that their social anxiety might be revealed! So they minimise the time that they spend, even with close people, even with the inner circle. And that tends to mean that they lack practice at social interactions and using social skills too.

Most of is had social anxiety as a child, but grew out of it

Even children who grew up to be confident adults, back then had many situations that made them socially anxious. If you're five years old, that's quite normal. But for most people, as you grow up, as you get older, you're exposed to increasingly more challenging situations. You get used to them. You learn to tackle them.

When people first start work, they can be anxious about answering the phone or giving a presentation to their colleagues. But if you have to do this every day and every week, you get used to it. You find ways of being able to do it. With that repetition, anxiety lessens until it just isn't there anymore! That's the opposite of avoiding. That's practising. And just like with your English language practice, practice makes it better. So practising social situations makes it better. And if you avoid, you rob yourself of the opportunity to do this.

Take it slowly - systematic de-sensitisation is best!

Another important technique here, take baby steps. Make a list of social situations that trigger you, that you feel anxious in, scoring them 1 to 10, 10 being the most difficult.

And then start with the least anxiety-provoking situations. Think of it like learning to swim. You start off in the shallow end of the swimming pool and gradually move into deeper water as you grow your confidence.

Grade your social anxiety-making experiences 0-10

So imagine a social situation that makes you extremely anxious, the most anxious. That will be your number 10. You may have a number of them. It could be going to a wedding where you know only the couple. It could be giving a presentation to a hundred people. It could be going to a party or a pub on your own or going on holiday with an unknown group. Whatever your peak social anxiety situations, make those your examples of the 10 out of 10 level. Then work down the list. What does a 7 out of 10 look like? What does a 6 out of 10 look like? Work all the way down to the 1s and 0s. These are the easy situations. These are the social situations that you're comfortable with and don't cause you any problems.

So the idea is that you work upwards on that scale. You certainly don't want to start with the 10 out of 10 situations. Sometimes 'dropping yourself in the deep end', as we say, can work. But what you may also find if you're unlucky is that it becomes quite a traumatising experience. And if it goes badly, it can put you off trying again, maybe even for years! So don't do that. Start with the easy numbers and work upwards. Like the child in the swimming pool, start in the shallow end where you can touch the bottom with your feet so that you feel safe. And then gradually move up the pool as you learn to swim and become more confident.

And don't forget to repeat those experiences so that they can become easier over time. Stay with the 1s and 2s to begin with. And then once you've conquered those situations and they no longer make you socially anxious, move on. Repetition. It's a bit like language learning again. Repetition is key here.

Learn to 'put yourself out there'

Also, learn 'to put yourself out there'. Socially anxious people often feel nervous talking about themselves. They don't want to 'bore people' or 'impose upon other people'. But actually, if you want to socialise successfully, you do have to talk about yourself. You have to have something to say. You must bring something into the conversation. You must offer something that the other person will respond to and which makes you interesting. And the whole point is letting others get to know you. So often one of the challenges for socially anxious people is to learn to talk about yourself, your life, your family, your friends, your interests, your opinions, even. And your experiences, too, without feeling uncomfortable. Think of it as 'sharing and being generous' rather than ' imposing yourself'. At the same time, you have to learn to be a good listener, rewarding company. Someone who is a responsive and empathic audience when the other person is talking. You want people to talk to you after all, don't you? You want to be popular even and well liked.

Boost Your English Fluency ๐ŸŒ With News You Cannot Ignore

Remember what others say

And even though you may be in an anxious state when you're talking to someone else, do still try to make a point of remembering what they tell you about themselves. This way, you'll have something to ask them about when you see them again. Socially anxious people sometimes forget to do this because they're so anxious about how they're coming across, they lose focus on the other person. But also, socially anxious people worry that they won't be able to think of something to say next time they see that person and there's opportunity for conversation. So if you remember what the person told you about themselves in this conversation, it will give you something to ask them about next time you see them, when you're reconnecting with them.

Recognise if you lack the social skills

And sometimes people need a little social skills training too, which is again why therapy is good. A therapist will pick this up and know specifically what you need to work on and what things might be holding you back.

A therapist will also be able to spot when you're slipping back into avoidance again, and they may help you sustain momentum as you move through the stages and the learning process.

Improvement in social anxiety gets 'on a roll' with enthusiasm

But what is also encouraging? Usually the socially anxious person starts to see the results themselves. The world seems to open up and become more friendly and exciting. It's very rewarding suddenly to feel that you've got friends, and confidence, and the capacity to feel comfortable. It can be what people have dreamt of for a very long time!

Social anxiety need not be a 'life sentence'

So, if you're one of those people, who sees someone you know walking down the street and immediately thinks, 'Ah, they've not seen me yet, if I cross over, I can avoid talking to them', STOP! Think again. Why are you doing that? It's much better to tackle it head-on and have that conversation with them, or at least say 'Hello!'. And make a point of speaking to people and socialising at every opportunity you get. That way you can practise and get better at it and grow your confidence. So you see, social anxiety isn't a life sentence. With consistent effort over time, you can overcome it.

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I hope you find this useful - send us your comments, please!

If you're socially anxious, I hope you find this podcast really useful. And even if you're not socially anxious, this podcast gives you some insight into other people you know that are and why they behave as they do. That friend who cancels the night out right at the last minute. Or that other friend who needs to be persuaded four times to accept a social invitation. Share this podcast with other people who you think might find it helpful.


Also, don't forget this is really an English language lesson too, so listen to this podcast as ever a number of times until you understand all the words in it and you get all the meanings. Send us your comments. We love to hear from you.

Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.

Thank you so much for listening. Please help me tell others about this podcast by reviewing or rating it. And, please share it on social media. You can find more listening lessons and a free English course at adeptenglish.com




The voice of Adeptenglish, loves English and wants to help people who want to speak English fluently.
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