We all feel anxious or nervous in front of other people from time to time. That’s pretty natural. But for some folks, the idea of having to deal with people in social situations can be seriously debilitating – and at Christmastime, even more so.

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The general consensus in Australian culture is that Christmas should be a time of joy, sharing and connecting with the people most important to us. But for anyone who suffers from social anxiety, Christmas can be a time that strikes feelings of intense anxiety and dread.