You walk into a gathering of people, and more than anything you want to smile and chat it up with those around you. You want to join in the conversation, laugh, and enjoy yourself. You want people to see you as friendly and outgoing, interested in what they have to say and easy to talk to. But instead . . . you feel like a deer in headlights. You’re overwhelmed and flooded with emotion. Your heart is racing. Your hands are trembling. Your face feels frozen. And the worst part is, you know everyone can see exactly how anxious you are, and they’re wondering what the hell is wrong with you. Does this scenario sound familiar? If this is your typical reaction in social situations, you may be dealing with social anxiety disorder. But what can make social anxiety even more difficult is dealing with it as an empath. A study published on PubMed shows that people with social anxiety are highly sensitive to the emotions of other people. It appears that those who are social anxious are able to discern the mental states of people much more accurately. The study administrators measured the levels of empathy within specific people, and learned that those same people demonstrated high levels of behavior related to