social anxiety at work

why is social anxiety at work so distressing? I think it is important to want to come across as sociable and approachable with colleagues. What happens though if the mere thought of engaging with your boss fills you with dread and panic? surely this persons oppinion of you is important, what if you come across as a nervous unsocialble individual? What if I blush? who is watching and what oppinions will they form? These are the thoughts of a social phobic person at work. Do these thoughts disappear when the work day is over? No not for me, reliving and analysing can continue for hours if not days after.

This is such a distressing disorder and so important to have support of others so we are not alone . Please feel free to comment or share similar experiences of work anxiety x

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12 Replies

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  • Hi I have ended up quitting my job last week as it was making me worse.It was a very had decision as I can not really afford it but I wanted to get me better first.

  • do you have social phobia too? please share your experiences , can you relate to what I wrote? I have quit a job due to anxiety in the past, sometimes it is just not worth making yourself ill. My job now is manageable but I have my moments. Felt it today after just one short experience but it affects the rest of my day , its horrible. I am a positive person but feel a bit isolated and want to chat to others. Just discovered this link on anxiety uk, didn't realise you could chat like this x

  • Hi Rose.My main anxiety is health but I found work could trigger my anxiety.As soon as my boss came in I was on edge and had to reach for my Diazapam.I couldnt concentrate properly and just made myself worse.The thought of going into work filled me with dread.Since having anxiety I find it hard at times to go out of the house but I do try to push myself.I want to work but I want to try and get myself sorted first.

  • You're describing me Rose12. I have exactly the same thoughts. Sharonlou, I left a job because it was making my anxiety worse. I couldn't tell anyone at work about how i felt because they didn't understand anxiety, some of them thought it was amusing and joked about it amongst themselves. It made me so ill I had to leave. I volunteer now and thank god I've found colleagues who do understand and are supportive and encouraging, it means I'm gradually getting my confidence back. Best wishes, and I hope things improve for you both.

  • Hi thank you for your words.My boss and colleagues knew about my anxiety but dont think they understood it properly.If Im anxious my hearing is so sensitive and if my boss shouted I would be like a nervous wreck.I was a finance manager so the job had a lot of pressure on me

  • well I hope the support of others is of help to you, nice to chat to you and always have time for anxious friends x

  • Hello greengrape. Its horrid isn't it. I have actually told my line manager about it as I blush everytime we have a one to one !! Telling her has helped but I couldn't tell the main boss as I don't have a close working relationship with them and fear it would go against me . Unless you have social phobia you can't understand . I have bought a book on Amazon called 'Work Makes Me Nervous' Johnathon Berent / Amy Lemley. I haven't read it yet but will tell you if it is of any use . x

  • Thanks rose12, I would definately be interested to know if this book is helpful. It certainly helps if you can be open and honest about any fears/phobias as constantly trying to hide it and feel embarrassed about it leads to a lot of emotional strain and can make us much more sensitive about it. Of course you can only be open about it in a safe and supportive environment ,as

    I have found out in the past, some people who don't or wont understand can see it as something to make fun of. That's why I'm very keen on raising public awareness of SA. At least we can be of some support to each other, which I know helps me, best wishes as always. x

  • Hi greengrape

    I will definately let you know about the book and am happy we are chatting as I am short of people to talk to about social anxiety. We can support each other and hopefully this will help. I want to raise awareness too which is why I have been a member of Anxiety Uk for many years and am now trying to volunteer. Just off out to take my daughter to a dance exam. Last time I went I blushed terribly due to the environment. It can be as simplr as lighting or seating arrangements which sets it off. As I blushed last time it is on my mind and I feel if you are in exactly the same situation the memory of it triggers another episode !! Will let you know how I get on, have to go know , Best Wishes x x

  • still not read my book am not very good at making time to read !!

  • Do not think how bad you are feeling as this only makes you feel worse.

    Think of what you can achieve and the money you will get paid and the friends you can make if you find it hard to make friends do it slowly there are a lot of people in the same situation who find they are nervous doing new things and meeting new people but it is a challenge we all have to face in our lives. Think of it as one step forward to a new beginning and a new you.

    You will surprise yourself what you can do. Take small steps and small challenges to overcome and congratulate yourself when you have accomplished something you were afraid of.

    A lot of it is the fear of the unknown but once we take that first step its not that bad and we have done it. Be very proud of your achievements.

    If it helps make a list of all the things you wish to do and gradually do them.

    Life is an adventure and an exiciting one by holding back we are only hurting ourselves.

    I know I have been there it was a very long learning process for me and I have now come a long way to help others.

    Best of Luck Please do not hold back you have so much to look forward to do not let others stand in your way. Be strong you can tackle anything you want.

    I found writing a daily journal in a notebook when I needed to off load when not having anyone to talk to I thought I was going nuts. I have met a lot of people now who also write journals about what things are bothering them to help find a way to overcome the problem and yes it is great therapy. The only person who needs to see the journal is yourself .

    By off loading your mind in the notebook or talking before we go to sleep is a good way of relaxing and easing the mind as sleep is very important for us to face the next day.

    Meditation also works listening to soft music to give you upliftment.

    There are many challenges we have to face in life that is part of our adventure.

    As one door closes another opens to face maybe the same challenge but never give up for you are a strong person who deserves happiness others who make us sad are only jealous just walk holding your head high you will make many friends but there will only be a few true friends and this site is a true blessing to many people who need help and have no-one to turn to we are all here to help one another.

    I hope this helps you.

  • "The Road Less Travelled" by M. Scott Peck

    (ISBN: 8601404277887) from Amazon's Book Store.

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