Experience of Students with High Levels of Social Interaction Anxiety during the Pandemic
Socialinteractionanxietyinvolvessignsoftremblingandblushingduetoexcessivedistress related to social situations in which one directly interacts and is observed by others. The current study attempted to explore the psychological and social impact through experience of individuals with high levels of social interaction anxiety symptoms during the current pandemic. A qualitative explorative approach was adoptedwithsemi-structuredinterviewguidetounderstandanddeterminetheexperiences of students with high levels of social interaction anxiety during the pandemic with limited facetofaceinteraction.EightStudentswererecruitedbyapreliminaryscreeningonSocial Interaction scale, after which they were interviewed using online platforms. Transcribed interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis at a semantic level with inductive approach by following the six phase guidelines by Braun & Clarke (2006). Results suggested a higher level of social anxiety interaction exhibit signs of anxiety during social interaction in the online platform just as they would during face-to- face interaction. Individuals were willing to seek professional help for social interaction anxiety concerns as it careers growth. Online interaction has led to students indulging in avoidance behavior thus maintaining social interaction anxiety on a longerrun.
Keywords - Online Interaction;Irrational Beliefs About Self; Preference Of Offline Counselling; AvoidanceBehavior; Thematic Analysis.