Social anxiety refers to an extreme anxiety in one or more types of social situations, which causes one to avoid such situations or to endure them with great discomfort.

Some common problem situations are: being in places with many people, meeting people, being the center of attention, being watched while doing anything. A person demands of himself/herself a perfect social performance, expects to perform poorly, and believes that this will be noticed and disapproved by others.

Emotionally, the person experiences these situations with a high and persistent anxiety and intense self-awareness. Understandably, the person tries to avoid social situations, or to avoid specific aspects of those situations.