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Does anyone else have bad social anxiety when it comes to their job? Are you required to talk to people all day long like me? How do you deal?

Ever since I began working at the age of 16 at just a Dairy Queen, I have had horrible anxiety talking to customers, co-workers, and especially my boss. The hierarchy gets to me, plus I feel like everyone can tell I am incompetent and that I don't know what I'm doing. I thought it would get better in time, but it hasn't. I am 26 years old now and I still have social anxiety every single day at work. I fear talking to my clients, co-workers, and supervisor, but now I have degrees and am highly educated yet can't shake the nerves! Meetings are heart poundingly nerve-wracking, speeches are crippling, I manage to push through, but I know my face must be hot red when I talk, my voice ALWAYS shakes (I sound like I'm going to cry) and I become very sweaty (not very professional looking..) The only positive is that I am a very reliable employee because... I can't stop thinking about work, I can't stop thinking about whether my colleagues and boss like me or not, I can't stop analyzing every little thing I do to make sure I didn't make a mistake. Sometimes I think I care too damn much about my job, if I cared less, I would worry about it less. It's something I have struggled with forever, I'm interested to see if anyone else has as well. Thanks in advance.
Category: Social Anxiety 6 years ago
Sweets823
Asked 6 years ago

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I do, and it almost stops my day to day activities. I also first started off at DQ when I was 16, they initially put me at the registers and I told them that there was absolutely no way I could do that and interact with customers and requested to be put in the back behind the grill. I am now 31 years old and work as a food director at a daycare and every single day is a struggle. I wish I could help you with dealing and I am sorry I have no advice to help with that I still have not found a way to deal with it, some days are "decent" and some are just brutal where I sweat horribly like you describe happens to you and fumble what seems to be the most simple words while even talking to the children (who are all under 5) You are definitely not alone on this.
richphotos
Answered 6 years ago
richphotos

Wow I thought I was crazy when I talk to people and turn 2 shades of red..Noone understands what I go through just to go out in public..I had a job 5 years I always stayed solo on breaks lunch ect..I tried anxiety med over the counter and I feel they make me dwowsey almost like being on drugs..I am freaking out my husband wants me to start realestate classes this saturday.he said being around people will help? I guess I will try..
kayh20781
Answered 6 years ago
kayh20781

Hello! Yes, you are not alone! I have worked in retail/food service since the age of 16 while struggling with social anxiety. I work at Starbucks right now, and it's hard talking to people all day. Although, I feel like I'm on the road to recovery. This past Friday I started Dr. Thomas A Richard's "Overcoming Social Anxiety Step by Step" audio therapy series. You can find it here: https://socialanxietyinstitute.org/ I can already feel a difference and I'm only on week one. You mentioned some things that are characteristic of social anxiety like overthinking, a fear of not being liked, anticipatory anxiety about having to talk to people, physiological symptoms, and a fear of embarrassment. I have all of those too, although they've lessened in degree since last week. Keep persevering, keep believing in yourself, and know that you are not defined by social anxiety-- it's just a challenge that you have. Here are a couple of videos for you to watch if you're interested. - Sam Stephenson "The Prison of Your Mind" - Amy Cuddy "Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are" All the best to you!
biscuitsntea
Answered 6 years ago
biscuitsntea

Thank you for posting, I struggle with being in meetings and talking in groups as well, and the demands of my job cause so much distress. I think about how I will get the nerve to speak, what I will sound like, look like in front of others. I think about how embarrassed I will be and how I will deal with it after forcing myself to speak in social settings-I absolutely hate it and I am trying to find some positive relief. One of the things that I've started to do is a lot of self talk, thinking of one thing that I can add, looking only at one or two people in the eye when I'm speaking-its still a struggle but a little easier for me to say something. I am a work in progress but we are in this together. I am here.
Katrina77
Answered 6 years ago
Katrina77

I have the same problem as well. I work at CVS as a cashier and everyday is a challenge. I only manage to say a few words before my voice starts to crack. And some customers have even said that im not friendly. If anyone has any suggestions with helping with just simple small talk I would love to know.
tbmclean
Answered 6 years ago
tbmclean

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