In Scientific American, Daniel Yudkin discusses studies examining some of the ways in which anxiety can change how people think, and inhibit social connections and empathic understanding.
“The idea that anxiety impairs perspective-taking is important because it is just this sort of nervousness that crops up when an empathic connection is most sorely needed,” writes Yudkin. “A public speaking gig, a job interview, even the act of teaching a child to read: all require a nuanced understanding of what it’s like to be the other person in the room. So by allowing anxiety to occupy our thoughts we might actually be undercutting our odds of success at the most critical social moments.”
The Isolating Effects of Anxiety (Scientific American, June 16, 2015)