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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 18, 2001
    Location
    USA, formerly Canada!
    Posts
    709

    Default Mild Social Anxiety - tips?

    I just started a new job 6 weeks ago. Great job, great company, great $, position will only open more doors for me etc. I am very lucky to have gotten the job and could not pass it up.

    The issue I had going to new job was that I wouldn't know anyone, large corporation, not personal. After 6 weeks I still feel like I don't fit in. I've never had a problem making friends, getting along with colleagues but I just feel so awkward when out of the ordinary situations occur. Example: "Team drinks and appetizers" is coming up. Just a few hours in the afternoon, about 12 people. I feel SO uncomfortable going to something like this because while I have been introduced to everyone and I say hi to these people in the morning, I still don't know them and I feel intimidated.

    I can suck it up, play nice and act friendly but I feel like I have to dig so deep and it's exhausting.

    Does anyone else feel like this? How can I feel like anxious and awkward in new social situations with people I don't know?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2010
    Location
    Westford, Massachusetts
    Posts
    4,779

    Default

    Me too. I do not like starting new jobs for that reason! I'm not big on work socializing anyway. I have acquired close friends at work in every job I've stayed at for more than a year or two, but it takes time and I'm basically an introvert.

    All I can suggest is have a drink (ONE!) to help you relax, but no more than that as anxiety can lead you (or me anyway!) to have one too many and that's not OK with work people. Ask people about themselves, everyone loves to talk about themselves, they won't notice that you are feeling shy or uncomfortable if they are talking about their life. You can ask about how long they've been at the company, what jobs they had before, where they live/how they like it there, how their commute is, ask about their spouse or SO, their kids, their pets, their hobbies, etc.... Once you get most people talking, they'll do all the social heavy lifting .



  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 2, 2001
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    4,830

    Default

    The first thing I'd say is to accept that that isn't your best situation and be ok with it. I just finished reading Quiet by Susan Cain, and am currently reading The Introvert Advantage, how to thrive in an extroverted world by Marti Olsen Laney, and the best thing for me about both books is that I no longer feel like something is wrong with *me* because I don't enjoy those sorts of situations that everyone else seems to love.

    I know exactly what you mean when you say digging deep to get through it is exhausting, because it is for me as well, I *can* do it, but I don't enjoy it.

    Recognizing that I am just wired to be more comfortable in different situations has really helped. People laugh if I tell them I'm an introvert -- I don't come across at all as the "standard" sort of introvert that people expect. I can be friendly and outgoing, but once I admitted that the sort of "drinks" gathering you mean is very draining and not energizing for me, that really helped. Even when I have to get through it.

    You can work to become more outgoing and can get through those situations, but it is also ok if you never learn to *love* doing it.

    Good luck with it!
    *Proud member of the Hoof Fetish Clique*
    **********************************
    I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
    Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2002
    Posts
    2,274

    Default

    Me, too, all of it. I like to arrive a little early, not the first person there but one of the first ones, so you can chat with people as they arrive and work through the group before too much alcohol kicks in. If there's someone you find you have stuff in common with, you can go back to them later. Tell yourself before you go that you'll stay til a certain time, then if you're having fun you can always stay longer. I like to leave while I'm still having a good time. If you go with a friend, have a pre-arranged signal that says "I'm getting ready to be done with this gathering" and a pre-arranged plan for leaving gracefully.

    People always like to talk about their kids and their pets, though once the conversation turns to types of cat litter, it's time to change the subject!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2002
    Posts
    4,325

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bensmom View Post
    The first thing I'd say is to accept that that isn't your best situation and be ok with it. I just finished reading Quiet by Susan Cain, and am currently reading The Introvert Advantage, how to thrive in an extroverted world by Marti Olsen Laney, and the best thing for me about both books is that I no longer feel like something is wrong with *me* because I don't enjoy those sorts of situations that everyone else seems to love.

    I know exactly what you mean when you say digging deep to get through it is exhausting, because it is for me as well, I *can* do it, but I don't enjoy it.

    Recognizing that I am just wired to be more comfortable in different situations has really helped. People laugh if I tell them I'm an introvert -- I don't come across at all as the "standard" sort of introvert that people expect. I can be friendly and outgoing, but once I admitted that the sort of "drinks" gathering you mean is very draining and not energizing for me, that really helped. Even when I have to get through it.

    You can work to become more outgoing and can get through those situations, but it is also ok if you never learn to *love* doing it.

    Good luck with it!
    Thank you for posting this. I don't feel so alone now, lol.
    My problem is that my husband is just the opposite. He loves parties, loves socializing! I have been known to leave a party without him, after waiting until I just couldn't bear it anymore. Even if it meant I had to walk home. I'd also let him go to parties by himself (he didn't like that!)
    I am getting better at dealing with it, and he is better at leaving when I ask, but in the beginning, it was very hard.
    Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 15, 2008
    Posts
    4,653

    Default

    For what it's worth Blondie, I often feel the same way. And to make matters worse, my shyness is often mistaken for aloofness or snobbiness when it's exactly the opposite.

    I'll be interested in reading the replies you get for myself as well.
    "Aye God, Woodrow..."



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2010
    Location
    Earlysville, Virginia
    Posts
    3,272

    Default

    Ditto. I feel so uncomfortable that I come off as rude.
    I found something once that said, "I'm not rude, i'm just awkward." Describes me perfectly. I HATE small talk, and will do it cheerfully, but find it weird. I find that some people are just on a different wave length, and that I cannot hold a conversation.

    I am SO glad none of my jobs have required after hours hang outs. My SO's company has happy hours a few times a month, as well as "beer trucks" where they take an employees pick up truck, fill it with ice and beer, and drive it into the breezeway of the building. Granted, it IS a young company (most employees under 30 in a company of over 500), but still.

    Have one or two drinks, no more. (this coming from a wine LOVER, and social awkward drinker). I have to limit myself when i'm out. It would be much more awkward if I got drunk and weird.
    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.



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