The holidays bring decorations, desserts, carols, and cheer. But a recent survey we conducted reveals surprising results: For most Americans, the social events that come with the holidays are a cause of great stress.
According to our survey, 54 percent of adult Americans report experiencing social anxiety, and the majority of this group (56 percent) say social events cause them stress during the holidays, topping both shopping for holiday gifts (46 percent) and interacting with family members (43 percent).
Those who experience social anxiety are over five times more likely to report stress caused by social events and twice as likely to experience stress from family interactions. And what seems like a simple case of being a party wallflower can have serious consequences: Those who experience social anxiety are more likely to depend on alcohol to get through parties (38 percent) than those who do not (28 percent).
Our survey also revealed that social anxiety has the greatest impact on millennials: 70 percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 report experiencing social anxiety (this is more than any other age group). The 45 percent of millennials for whom holiday social events are a source of stress often depend on their smartphones or social media (51 percent) to make it through holiday celebrations.
Check out the infographic below to learn more about what people told us their greatest stressors and coping methods are this holiday season.
Joyable surveyed 1,188 U.S. adults via Survey Monkey between November 30 and December 1, 2015. The margin of error is +/-2.76 percentage points assuming a 95 percent confidence level.