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Social anxiety and working

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Butterfly3

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May 20, 2020
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141
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England
Does anyone here suffering from social anxiety have a job? If so how do you do it and cope? Do you have any therapy skills you use that help?

I recently finished with education and now need to find a job, however I’m so anxious about it I can’t bare to do it. The idea of phone calls and interviews to go to a place where I would have to do all the things that make me anxious makes me feel sick with anxiety. I just want to be normal and live a normal life :low:
 
jajingna

jajingna

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Jul 31, 2020
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7,183
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Canada
I don't have a job. When I did have a job I would sometimes feel exhausted from the social part of it. That wasn't just social anxiety but being quite introverted I seemed to only have limited amounts of energy for engaging with others, and when the work was done I was glad to have my time alone to rest and recharge. At work I would just focus on what I had to do to get through the day. Sometimes I sensed others were a bit put off by me not being talkative or outgoing, but that is not who I am, so I didn't force myself to be like that.
 
A

AppleJacks999

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Sep 14, 2021
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NoWhere
Does anyone here suffering from social anxiety have a job? If so how do you do it and cope? Do you have any therapy skills you use that help?

I recently finished with education and now need to find a job, however I’m so anxious about it I can’t bare to do it. The idea of phone calls and interviews to go to a place where I would have to do all the things that make me anxious makes me feel sick with anxiety. I just want to be normal and live a normal life :low:
I force myself like an "actress". I also prefer a less populated working environment. I'm better able to actually connect and attempt to get to know people. I don't do well in places that have too many employees. I burn out quick. I've had to look stupid many times...but after a while I can get comfortable, but like I said...the less employees the better.
 
stevie_sloth

stevie_sloth

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Mar 31, 2015
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1,704
Does anyone here suffering from social anxiety have a job? If so how do you do it and cope? Do you have any therapy skills you use that help?

I recently finished with education and now need to find a job, however I’m so anxious about it I can’t bare to do it. The idea of phone calls and interviews to go to a place where I would have to do all the things that make me anxious makes me feel sick with anxiety. I just want to be normal and live a normal life :low:
This could basically have been me writing this back when I was 18, about to graduate from high school, and just could not stand the thought of working for the next several decades.

I went to university for 3 years, got a psychology degree (I never wanted to be a psychologist - too much social interaction, but I found it interesting and easy at school), then did 6 months at a business college and got a diploma. Then finally, at 22 I worked full time as a legal secretary.

It was a good job in a nice office with lovely people. After 3 years, at age 25, I moved interstate to live, and haven't worked full time since. I just...can't.

I'm 43 now and I haven't worked at all (for other people) since I was 37.
 
Shenon

Shenon

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Oct 3, 2021
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Sometimes here, sometimes there
Hi Butterfly3, I have social anxiety and I have a job. I managed to find a profession where I work quite a lot on my own and meetings are often one-to-one rather than big groups. We also mostly do stuff by email, which I find much easier to deal with than phone, for instance.

Another perk is that I control to some extent when I work. Before Covid, I tried to go to the office very early in the morning, or stay late at night, when I was less likely to meet people. It has now become harder because there are restrictions to enter our building out-of-hours, but you get the gist.

I don’t know what you’ve studied, but you can perhaps try and think what kind of job would give you more freedom to work your own hours and avoid people?

Of course, there is still the problem of going to the interview. I’m afraid I don’t really have a good tip for that. I always had panic attacks before my interviews, just tried to force myself through them and, as AppleJacks999 said, fake it.

It is still a drag when you bump into someone in the corridor and they decide to have a chat. But for myself, I find that if I can limit those interactions, I manage overall.
 
Michelle Kelly

Michelle Kelly

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Jul 12, 2021
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118
Location
UK
I have social anxiety and I work for one of the UK's most well known supermarkets. It's a medium sized store and for the most part, I feel comfortable most of the time.

I think working in a fairly large retail store can benefit someone with social anxiety - the shop floor side rather than the till / check-out side - because most of the time you're on your own putting out stock. Whenever you do speak to other workers, it tends to be short and sweet and whenever you're interacting with customers, it's basically to show them where the sugar is etc - there's no worry about having to make friendships with customers, you just have to be friendly and polite.

The interview side is daunting of course but I think a lot of the time, it depends how friendly the interviewer comes across as being. Luckily for me, when I did my interview for my current job, the store manager was fairly pleasant and that put me at ease a bit. I was still anxious inside but it didn't show on the outside.
 
Michelle Kelly

Michelle Kelly

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Jul 12, 2021
Messages
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UK
Whilst at work today, it was a classic example of getting on OK with some of my colleagues and feeling a bit uncomfortable around others. It's almost as if some colleagues sense that you're anxious ( or in their mind unapproachable ) and they won't go out of their way to talk to you unless it's work related. This of course makes your anxiety around them even worse. Thankfully the majority seem to like me enough to have brief conversations and a smile.

New starters are particularly difficult for me because you're both slightly anxious. If anything, I get on better with the confident, chatty ones.

I'm always anxious around managers and team leaders unless they're friendly and put everyone at ease.
 
JavaJane

JavaJane

Active member
Joined
Oct 23, 2021
Messages
33
Location
USA
Does anyone here suffering from social anxiety have a job? If so how do you do it and cope? Do you have any therapy skills you use that help?

I recently finished with education and now need to find a job, however I’m so anxious about it I can’t bare to do it. The idea of phone calls and interviews to go to a place where I would have to do all the things that make me anxious makes me feel sick with anxiety. I just want to be normal and live a normal life :low:
I do. I go to work every day and get picked at all day about anything and everything. Coworkers constantly getting mad at me over petty crap. I'm in the process of moving to a different area in the dept. because it's either that or I'm going to have to quit. I'm on meds and sometimes I make me a drink when I get home just to calm my nerves. I escape into my video games a lot. But I can do that because I live alone. I have no one expecting anything from me at home.
 
LoqLamp

LoqLamp

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Joined
Jul 26, 2021
Messages
378
Location
UK
You get used to it. You don’t feel comfortable but you get used to just doing it. If you can avoid retail do so however. That was hell for me.

Also ,depending on the job, you may find that the interviewer is just as awkward about it as you.
 
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