• Hi. It’s great to see you. Welcome!

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life. Amongst our membership there is a wealth of expertise that has been developed through having to deal with mental health issues.

    We are an actively moderated forum with a team of experienced moderators. We also have a specialist safety team that works extra hard to keep the forum safe for visitors and members.

    Register now to access many more features and forums!

Constant Social Anxiety... Except At Work?

Brittany93

Brittany93

New member
Joined
Feb 26, 2019
Messages
2
Location
USA
Hello!

I have suffered with social anxiety ever since I was around the age of 13 or 14 (I'm now in my mid-twenties). Over the past few years, I have noticed that my anxiety is basically unnoticeable while I'm at work, and yet almost constant in any situation outside of my job. I work as an x-ray tech, and I find it quite funny actually that my social anxiety is not an issue when I'm interacting with patients. As I'm sure that any of you who work in the medical field know, caring for patients involves A LOT of one-on-one conversation and physical interaction. Oddly enough, not only do I not feel nervous working with my patients, but I actually feel overly confident at times.

However, place me in a social situation outside of work and I struggle terribly. I find it hard to even make small talk with others due to the fear I'll say something stupid. If someone randomly comes up to me I feel like I'm going to have a heart attack. I won't lie...even writing this gives me some anxiety. The one time I was asked out I almost had a full mental breakdown.

I'm just curious if anyone has ever dealt with a similar problem? Where you can function totally fine (for the most part) at work, but is a complete wreck in all other social situations. I guess for me, having a task to focus on (like taking an x-ray) is a distraction for me. When I have to be myself? Forget it!:(

Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated. Thanks!
 
D

daisycakes

Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2018
Messages
6
I definitely feel very similar! I physically nodded the whole way through reading that. Like a total loser :doh:

I have worked in people facing jobs since I was 19 (mid 20's now) - hospo, retail, reception... and now I work in HR where it's all about communicating and working with people.
I'm happy with small talk at work - of course I still have (many) moments where I feel awkward and I hate Skype more than words could ever articulate but I don't feel like I'm about to fall apart into tiny little pieces. But make me go to dinner with friends and I'll be en route to a panic attack in no time.

I'm not sure if it's because I am focusing on something, it might be, but I feel like it's more that I can be who I want to be at work. I can just fake it all. But then that doesn't sound right as I do feel like I am myself there and I don't fake anything. Except confidence maybe.
Idk. I oddly feel most anxious around friends and extended family, not strangers or colleagues. Who knows why, maybe I care more about how they view me than I do strangers? (My social anxiety stems from ridiculous levels of self consciousness).
 
TroubleinParadise

TroubleinParadise

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 28, 2018
Messages
187
Location
South Africa
I think that it stems deeply from your unconscious perception/mindset of the different situations. When you're at work you have a goal; you know that you can do your job; and you unconsciously are also aware that people see you very differently - because you're a professional. That in itself is a major confidence booster. You are also separated on an intimate level - you're job-orientated during working hours. There are a number of variables that I believe we could analyse here.
 
F

Fallingfromthetop

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 16, 2019
Messages
157
Location
Slipperyslope
Also you are probably confident and experienced in your work that really helps.

I've seen students that are super shy and anxious be the ballers at the soccer field / gym class cause they sport in their free time. Then back to the school bench and they don't wanna say a word, yet its the same students around them.

If I asked them then and there on the soccer field how the photo synthesis works they could probably tell me straight up no problem without hesitation.
 
Top