Social anxiety disorder (social phobia) includes a fear of social situations, specifically those that are new or unfamiliar, or situations in which it is likely that they will be watched or evaluated by other people. Sometimes, just the act of thinking about these situations causes anxiety so uncomfortable that a person may go to great lengths to avoid those thoughts. The fear of being judged or embarrassed is at the core of social anxiety disorder. Oftentimes, there is a fear of not being enough or being judged as inferior. Sufferers may realize that these fears are somewhat exaggerated and irrational, but that does not typically stop the anxiety.
Social anxiety is a common disorder. There are different types of social anxiety disorder including the generalized social anxiety which includes a fear of most social situations. Alternatively, there are more specific social phobias, such as a fear of public speaking (the most common), or a fear of eating at restaurants.