Anyone who suffers with anxiety knows that social anxiety is a terrible thing to suffer from. But according to a recent study, people with social anxiety might be more empathetic and have a higher IQ!
Social anxiety is a horrific mind inclination to suffer from. It gets in the way of overall happiness, contentedness, and even affects relationships in a majority of ways. Social anxiety is defined by the fear of social situations that involve interaction with other people. It is a pervasive disorder that causes anxiety and fear in almost every aspect of your life. Fear of work, relationships, public, school, you name it. Social anxiety is actually on a rise, statistics showing that approximately 7% of the population already suffers from it. Although social anxiety is such an awful thing to suffer from, sometimes good things come alongside bad things. For example, science has shown that people who suffer from social anxiety have a higher IQ and better empathetic skills than those who don’t.
One study from Lakehead University showed that participants with the general anxiety disorder had a higher score on the verbal intelligence test than those who did not report of suffering from anxiety. In addition to this, another study out of the SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York discovered that people who suffered from severe anxiety had higher IQs than those who did not.
Aside from the IQ, other studies even show that people who suffer from anxiety have a higher sense of empathy. Researchers from the University of Haifa’s Department of psychology in Israel significantly studied the empathetic abilities of anxious people. According to the study, GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) sufferers displayed more “sensitivity and attentiveness to other people’s states of mind.”
To put it in Layman’s terms, the study revealed that because people who suffer from social anxiety have a more attentive sense to their surrounding areas and what is going on around them. They are able to detect when something is misplaced or not right. This allows them to take great notice of when people are upset. They might not have the best social skills, but they’ll be the first to try and help someone.
You might think that their over awareness is a gift, and it sort of is, but it can also be torture. Because they are constantly wrapped up in everyone else and what’s going on around them, but they tend to neglect themselves. Being sensitive to everyone around you can be extremely overwhelming and exhausting, even.