Best Books For Social Anxiety 2019

By Kenny Lee | Essentials

Dec 28

When you realized that you have social anxiety, you’re wondering that if you could overcome it at all. Let me assure you that social anxiety is definitely beatable, even if you’ve spent years living with it. But it definitely helps to understand the condition, self-help tips, and professional advice by reading books for social anxiety.

Some books not only offer advice in dealing with social anxiety but also contains worksheet that guides you along specific exercise to reframe your thoughts or develop self-esteem. You may also learn basic social skills that seem impossible for people with social anxiety, such as striking up a conversation.

Here are some of the best books that could help you in your daily battle with social anxiety.

1. Overcoming Shyness: Break Out Of Your Shell And Express Your True Self by Erik Myers

Best Books For Social AnxietyErik Myers takes you through his personal experience of chronic social anxiety during his college days that most of us could relate too. Although narrated in a casual and witty manner, the book isn’t all about the author’s experience. It provides practical advice to overcome your shyness by altering your mindset and working on basic social techniques one step at a time.

The book tackles the very core of social anxiety, fear, which it described as the “Four Letter Word” right from the start. It walks you through simple and effective tips that I personally agreed on, such as shifting attention to others instead of yourself, to overcome shyness.

2. How To Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic And Rise Above Social Anxiety by Ellen Hendriksen

Best Books For Social Anxiety

Dr. Ellen Hendriksen is an accomplished clinical psychologist. But what makes this book a credible read is her struggle with social anxiety during her childhood. She uses easy-to-understand stories and offers scientific-based approaches to help you conquer your fear.

If you’ve been clueless about what causes your social anxiety, the book may shed a light on it. But what’s remarkable is how Ellen empowers you to stay true to yourself instead of faking your character just to be socially accepted. This is definitely not the typical ‘how-to’ book but one that put the best of science and stories together.

3. Shyness And Social Anxiety Workbook by Martin M. Antony Ph.D. & Richard P. Swinson MD

Best Books For Social Anxiety
Overcoming social anxiety involves taking action, literally. The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook is a unique publication that not only provides in-depth knowledge of social anxiety, medications, and related therapy but also offers guided workbook format for you to make plans and take actions.

The authors present the book in a systematic manner that makes reading easy. Paragraphs are punctured with point forms and there are no shortage or familiar examples. At each subsection, you’ll find short exercises where you will jot down your thoughts, plans and subsequently take action to deal with social situations.

4. Not Nice: Stop People Pleasing, Staying Silent, & Feeling Guilty…  by Dr. Aziz Gazipura

Best Books For Social Anxiety

This book is a good read for people with social anxiety, especially if you’ve been reluctantly saying ‘yes’ to everyone. One of the obvious manifestations of social anxiety is having low self-esteem and Dr. Aziz, a world-renowned psychologist offers great tips to be more assertive.

You’ll be exposed to controversial concepts that are bound to change your mindset, and hence stop being a people pleaser. For instance, Dr. Aziz mentions that being nice isn’t about being good, but rather of the fear that you’re offending someone else. Besides introducing unconventional ideas, the book has allocated a chapter filled with activities to drive you into taking action.

5.  The Solution To Social Anxiety by Dr. Aziz Gazipura

Best Books For Social Anxiety

Dr. Aziz, an established psychologist who once suffered from social anxiety, offers an intriguing book that provides insight into your struggle. The book helps you to take a clearer look at your fear and empowers you to accept who you are.

While you’re confronting your fears, you’ll be guided by the various tools and techniques presented in the book where you could take bold and massive action immediately. Interlaced with Dr. Aziz’s personal experience and those of his clients, you’ll find hope from his authentic and simple approach.

6. The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Social Anxiety and Shyness by Jan E. Fleming, Nancy L. Kocovski

Best Books For Social Anxiety

As you struggle with works when conversing, you are being assailed by thoughts of shame, guilt, and unworthiness. Instead of trying to suppress or deny the thoughts, this book teaches you how to accept them as they were. More importantly, you’ll learn how to be unaffected by these negative thoughts.

The book is a valuable tool and contains useful worksheets where you could put into practice what you’ve learned easily. The content is well-written and the authors are detailed in offering advice to specific situations faced by people with social anxiety.

7. How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships by Leil Lowndes

Best Books For Social Anxiety

This book may not offer every knowledge you need to deal with social anxiety, but it dives into a topic that is affecting the lives of fellow sufferers. Leil Lowndes is a brilliant professional who has spent her professional career coaching others to master communications.

In this book, you’ll realize that communication is more than words alone. Instead, the author shows you in simple manner how communication starts with your body language, which is a powerful tool to develop confidence and rapport before started to speak.

8. Stop Anxiety from Stopping You by Helen Odessky 

Best Books For Social Anxiety

Imagine stepping into a room of strangers and you start hyperventilating. Your mind went blank and you muttered some excuse before you rush back to the comfort of home. This imaginary situation happens to many who suffered from social anxiety.

This book by Helen Odessky, a licensed clinical psychologist, incorporates a step-by-step framework to help you to stop panic attacks and overcome social anxiety. It offers great advice to get rid of the guilt that often co-relate with social anxiety. The book is littered with practical tips for various anxiety-inducing situations in real life.

9. Overcoming Social Anxiety: Step by Step by Dr. Thomas A. Richards

Best Books For Social Anxiety

Dr. Thomas A. Richards director of the Social Anxiety Institute in Phoenix. This book complements an online course offered by the institute to help people to overcome social anxiety. It focuses on cognitive techniques and how it could potentially rewire your brain.

The book is ideal even for the most chronic social anxiety sufferer. You will learn how to reframe your thoughts from negatives into positive ones that empower yourself with self-esteem and confidence. If you’re curious about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and hoping that it will make a profound change, this book is for you.

10. The Social Skills Guidebook by Chris MacLeod

Best Books For Social Anxiety
Unfortunately, social skills often remain elusive to people who are struggling with social anxiety. As unfair as it sounds, being perceived as ‘anti-social’ can cause you to lose precious opportunities in career, relationship, and life. This book offers great tips that could change your fate.

Rather than offering vague advice, Chris MacLeod penned down realistic tips and strategies for different sort of social situations. Instead of making up fake promises, the author stressed that it may take a while to be adept in social skills. And you’ll need to constantly practice to be better at social interaction.


There is no shortage of self-help books for social anxiety. But these are what I believe to be the best and valuable for anyone trying to break free from social anxiety. Most of the books are available on Kindle and you can start reading immediately by downloading the free Kindle reading app.

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About the Author

I struggled with social anxiety for at least 15 years, without really knowing what I was going through. Eventually, I defeated my social phobia and conquered the fear of public speaking.

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