View Full Version : Social anxiety, and I am spiraling over this - :(

02-20-17, 08:16 PM
I've worked from home for several years (large company), and I have never met my co-workers or my boss. I literally do not know anyone, other than to interact with them on the phone).

I just found out that I have to attend a group meeting at the company's headquarters in a couple of months. More than 100 people will be attending.

The thought of meeting and interacting with more than 100 strangers is literally making me sick. I am losing sleep and about to lose my mind.

Really don't know what to do. :(

(I realize working from home is probably not ideal for someone w/ my issues, and that it reinforces social avoidance, etc. But I like the job, feel very lucky to have it in fact).

Whenever I try to "fake" getting along with people, I come across as arrogant and off-putting. When I try to "fly under the radar," I am labeled "shy" or "quiet" or worse -- "unassertive."

My coping mechanism has always been avoidance. I just don't allow myself to be in any situation where I don't feel safe or unjudged.

The consequences of "saying the wrong thing" or being labeled "does not get along well with others" are very real and severe. It could undo a lot of hard work and jeopardize my position, and possibly my future.

I feel so terrified and hopeless.

I have medication for "anxiety" -- but it makes me tired and unfocused. I need to be alert.

I am wondering if hypnosis would work -- but have no idea how to find someone who is reputable, etc.

If anyone who has "been there" has any advice or strategies, I would appreciate it.

Little Missy
02-20-17, 08:20 PM
Avoidance. I can always count on it.

02-20-17, 11:45 PM
Avoidance. I can always count on it.

Well, that is actually the problem. Avoidance = not an option.

But thank you.

02-21-17, 05:25 AM
Are you in any therapy? If not I suggest you consider it. Its a good way to work on these issues especially if medication would make things worse for you.

02-21-17, 03:12 PM
Are you in any therapy? If not I suggest you consider it. Its a good way to work on these issues especially if medication would make things worse for you.

No. I recognize that I should be, and I have been searching off and on for the last couple of years for someone who is a good "fit."

The pattern has been:
1. Resolve to find a therapist.

2. Make a lot of phone calls and make that first appointment.

3. Go to one or two appointments and discover that: a). The therapist primarily treats a certain group (i.e., children, or anorexics, etc.) and really is clueless about how to help a grown-*** woman; b). Scheduling is a problem (wait 2 months for an appointment, they cancel, and can't reschedule for another 4 weeks, etc., BUT they want to charge *me* a fee if I should cancel/reschedule); or c. We just aren't a good fit (for a variety of reasons).

4. Give up.

Trying again, now. I am definitely motivated. Not sure what can be achieved in such a short timeframe, which is why I am wondering about hypnotherapy. (Maybe that is another thread ...)

02-21-17, 04:45 PM
100 people?

that's enough to be able to be a little invisible, and ok to be quiet, and not feel judged

you can also easily leave the room or whatever, or quietly slip outside as if you had a phone call

04-16-17, 10:12 PM
Oh man, I feel for you. This is something that would cripple me with anxiety. I'd focus on a few things- CBT in which you're forced out of your comfort zones so that the experiences eventually help to grow your comfort and dull the anticipatory stress, and also finding the correct medication (whether that be a single pill or combination of different things). Lastly, I don't know how active you are, but regular exercise will also be beneficial. Good luck. You can do this!

04-25-17, 07:09 PM
Several years ago, after two weeks of starting a new job, I had to fly across the country to Boston for a conference with people I had never met before. I was supposed to be somewhat versed in the subject matter of our company, but I wasn't ready for that yet. I was sent there to socialize and converse with these people about what our company did and come back with a list of prospective new clients. The first night I was there, there was a social gathering before the main dinner event. I was scared to death and my social anxiety was through the roof. There were lots of people there who had attended this conference for years and they knew each other. I was a complete loner. I escaped by going into the Men's room and I stayed there for a long time to kill some time until dinner. I finally mustered up the courage to go talk to a couple guys who were off to the side. This was their first year at this meeting as well and we started talking about where we were from, things we liked to do, and so on. When it was dinner time we all sat down at the same table. Things were a little better by then but I was still full of anxiety. We decided to hook up again for the next days' events and after 8 years in the job, I am still very good friends with both of them. I still have quite a bit of anxiety at social events like this but that first one taught me that I could do it. I just had to force myself and then things got better after that.