Like wxolue said there has to be some structure.
This is about applying the cognitive ideas
For now anyone who is interested I would recommend downloading or purchasing the Dr Richards tapes just to get a feel for CBT or start reading up on it on the internet.
A lot of CBT is about learning about and accepting your social anxiety. Then taking action to counter the negative though patterns associated with your social phobia. It's very gradual, but changing your thoughts can be long lasting.... think of INCEPTION!! "Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it's almost impossible to eradicate." haha
...but really it's true, throughout our lives we think of social interaction as something that we associate negative thoughts with and through time our thoughts become automatic. And they come out as just plain panic or fear. Therefore we avoid things and it becomes a really bad cycle of -NEGATIVE THOUGHTS-EMOTIONAL PAIN-SOCIAL AVOIDANCE
So CBT or just changing attitude, thinking patterns, and eventually exposing ourself to social situations.
Also, a lot of CBT is common sense to a lot of us. It does make sense that our negative thoughts are bad for us. It's a matter of gradually countering them and learning to think about life as more neutral and rational, not necessarily just 'positive'. You have to give it a lot of time and dedication for it to even begin to work. So it takes a lot to get over this, but it's fun along the way especially if your motivated and you can actually see your own progress...
So yeah, if you're interested right now try to learn as much as you can about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and how Social Anxiety is comprised of:
1. The cognitive thoughts that we have about social interactions are generally irrational and negative. We need to change these thoughts to be more realistic. (our experiences are always going to go up and down, that's for certain, but our attitude, perception of it is the only thing that we have control of)
2. Slow and gradual exposure to social situations. ie: taking a walk, saying hi to a neighbor, practicing holding eye contact, being assertive, talking on phone...gradually working our way up to more.
Here's an article which describes CBT pretty welll:
The Dr richards website:
HOMEWORK: So once again our 'homework' for now is to read up on CBT the basics etc. Don't get ahead of yourself unless you have done CBT or know about it pretty well already, but CBT is all about the fundamentals so, relearning stuff we think we 'know already' will always help.
PS: Really we can't really on others to get over our SA it's a matter of our selves. We are our best counselors. We care about our own self interest more than anyone in the world, and know ourselves best.
To really get over this you might have to give up some other habit of yours that takes up a lot of time. I watch about 2-4 hours of TV a day. I'm going to limit it to 0-2 hours/ day. That gives me time to practice this stuff. It's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.
So Part 2 of HOMEWORK:
Do you have something you can give up which is basicallly 'time wasted' ie browsing internet for a few hours, playing video games, TV, online chat rooms, forums etc. Think about it. Is the pain and limits of SA worth the couple hours you can sacrifice?