Social Courage: Coping and thriving with the reality of social anxiety

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       January 24, 2019


Author  Dr Eric Goodman

Distributor:      Exile Publishing
ISBN:                 978-1925335750
Publisher:         Exile Publishing
Release Date:   June 2018  


Dreading that next work function, social encounter or gathering where small talk is the order of the day and anxiety is your best and long-lasting buddy at these events. Relax, help is at hand by beginning to understand a that social anxiety is something which is a normal factor in being human and is something most people have, have had to face and accept, even those who appear to be amongst the more extroverted of peoples.

What is social anxiety and why does it cause so much genuine distress in people’s lives? The simplest of answers is that according to Dr Eric Goodman in his book Social Courage, social anxiety is not a lot more than ‘brain noise’, that social anxiety is normal. One thing it is definitely not is a disease, even though it may have what many consider as a debilitating effect on their lives, their goals and their ambitions.

In this very gentle introduction to this very normal component of being human, Goodman presents a simple, effective and well structed self help course offering understanding, information and, techniques to help you break what may be a stranglehold on your life.

The information is formed and based in years of research, practice with his patients with well documented success stories, case studies of changed lives, fresh pathways forward, all based in understanding and interestingly, acceptance.

Self-awareness, catastrophising, personalising, should, should nots, phobias, are just some of the many very human traits and learned factors that add to social anxiety, which can all be dealt with by using a logical approach to the problem; a logic that often needs to be learned or relearned to begin to cope with ‘brain noise’.

Each of the sections comes with a workbook or sheets that need to be completed, but at each step, it is reinforced that the pathway can be left at any time, it is up to the journeyman how they use the information provided.

Godman accepts that the road to change is often very hard, full of falls and regression but is encouraging about returning to the task, accepting that is ok to get side tracked, to accept this very human trait, but to keep pushing ahead to achieve your goals.

His final words are those of wonderful encouragement, where he says that the courage to be human lies in recognising that you are forever destined to be and feel imperfect; that is being human. Perfection is impossible. By accepting that by doing the best you can and seeing that, this is good enough.