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Author Topic: Anxiety at the office  (Read 865 times)

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Offline tlebo

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Anxiety at the office
« on: May 09, 2014, 12:02:21 PM »
I usually get anxiety when my day involves change and something disturbs my daily routine. I've worked with the same company of 10 people for the past 3 years. I had a lot of Anxiety in the first month or so but eventually got into the routine. I still keep finding myself have anxiety when it comes to out of office events, or lunches. I try to avoid them as much as possible.. But then I feel disappointed in myself. I recently told my work I have an anxiety problem which I think has made me more comfortable when I turn things down.
I find when someone mentions going out to lunch my chest sinks and heart starts pounding. I've had some good experiences going out to lunch, once I'm there I'm ok. But I've had a couple bad experiences too.
I feel like I have a few comfort people (boyfriend, family) in my life and I'm fine going out with them but without them I don't feel totally comfortable.

I always feel like this is something I have to get over and force myself to do. But then at other times - do I really have to get over it?
Thoughts?
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Offline delilahking

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Re: Anxiety at the office
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2014, 03:53:01 PM »
I'm 44 years young and have been dealing with social anxiety for what I thought was all my life. about 10 years or so ago I had ran into a high school friend who made note of not my anxiety (which I assumed was the highlight of my personality people would remember) but it was that I was the "introvert" in the bunch. This is something I never really looked at in all my searching/reading up on/ learning about my anxiety, but it opened up a new door of understanding myself. In looking into some of the character treats of those who are introverts, I have found that some of my biggest hurdles of correcting my social anxiety have a lot in common with an introverts personality. There is nothing wrong with being an introvert (though extroverts may disagree lol ) introverts can be easily worn out by there surroundings (work, socializing, constant loud noises) once this energy is gone we find ourself as if we haven't slept in days! without a chance to recharge ourselves with some alone time, silence in thought, forward planning. You may want to look into the possibility that the introvert part of you is what is holding you back more then the social anxiety, I'm not saying it isn't there, I'm simply saying it's easier to let others know you are an introvert and need a heads up as far as throwing you off your routine-maybe plan that you will go for lunches every other Friday or what ever suits you. This can also come in handy for any large changes in work policies in general. There is nothing wrong with asking for advanced notice.
Once I found the differences and connections social anxiety and introversion I could learn to work/live/interact with others with a simple set of ground rules for other and myself, compaired with always getting down on myself for not being everyone else.  :winking0008:
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~Life is what you make it.......but sometimes I run out of glue~

Offline franciswindy

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Re: Anxiety at the office
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2014, 02:01:42 AM »
Just like you, I have a few "comfort people" whom I always feel light-hearted going out with. But the problem is that they can't always be my side whenever I need them, so i decided that when i am in an unfamilair situation by myself, such as meeting and interacting with strangers, I would imagine these comfort people still around being my accompany. knowing they are around there for you to support you helps a lot in case you have a panic attack. I have tried this trick a few times, and i worked well. somehow i feel i am given strenghth by them to deal with the unfamilarity and unroutine. you can try it sometimes!
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Offline franciswindy

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Re: Anxiety at the office
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2014, 02:02:23 AM »
I usually get anxiety when my day involves change and something disturbs my daily routine. I've worked with the same company of 10 people for the past 3 years. I had a lot of Anxiety in the first month or so but eventually got into the routine. I still keep finding myself have anxiety when it comes to out of office events, or lunches. I try to avoid them as much as possible.. But then I feel disappointed in myself. I recently told my work I have an anxiety problem which I think has made me more comfortable when I turn things down.
I find when someone mentions going out to lunch my chest sinks and heart starts pounding. I've had some good experiences going out to lunch, once I'm there I'm ok. But I've had a couple bad experiences too.
I feel like I have a few comfort people (boyfriend, family) in my life and I'm fine going out with them but without them I don't feel totally comfortable.

I always feel like this is something I have to get over and force myself to do. But then at other times - do I really have to get over it?
Thoughts?
Just like you, I have a few "comfort people" whom I always feel light-hearted going out with. But the problem is that they can't always be my side whenever I need them, so i decided that when i am in an unfamilair situation by myself, such as meeting and interacting with strangers, I would imagine these comfort people still around being my accompany. knowing they are around there for you to support you helps a lot in case you have a panic attack. I have tried this trick a few times, and i worked well. somehow i feel i am given strenghth by them to deal with the unfamilarity and unroutine. you can try it sometimes!
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Offline VBFear

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Re: Anxiety at the office
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2014, 09:23:47 PM »
I'm currently unemployed (and finding it difficult to even look for work!) but other than that, I feel I could have written your post.  I too like to have a certain routine (down to predictable conversations) and am thrown for a loop when it's changed.  I just don't know how to react when people go off script!  I don't think it's something you should necessarily force yourself into, though.  I'm not a therapist, of course, so it's just opinion.  But I've found that forcing myself to confront my fears when I truly don't want to only makes them worse.  On the other hand, I also think it's important to face them, but not necessarily head-on.  I think if you try to evaluate what about the situation you are most worried about and isolate that one thing, you can come up with a game plan to address them.

For example, one of my social anxiety triggers is making a phone call - it's at its worst when I have to call a stranger (businesses, usually) but I still feel anxiety talking to family and close friends.  The only one I don't worry about is my husband.  I'm always afraid I'll say something stupid or forget something important.  So I try to address that by making short, simple calls.  Confirming a vet or doctor's appointment is my method of choice - they leave me a voicemail asking them to call back and confirm.  Until recently, that call was near impossible to make.  But I've rationalized that it's the best place to start because I only have to say I'll be there, and then end the call.  It all goes according to a script and that makes the call easier.  I still have heart palpitations while dialing, but they don't usually last for the conversation!  In fact, this morning I made a call to our rental management and was able to make my request without stumbling over my words at all.  The progress itself is fairly small (but I actually managed to ask someone for something), but feels so huge!

Anyway, the point of my rambling was that I think it's best to address things in small doses.  For example, if your boyfriend can accompany you to any of these events, it might help to go in with a bit of a safety net.  Or if you can find scenarios where you can make an excuse to leave early, so you know going in you will only be there for a short time, it might be less intimidating.

Anyway, I hope this helps at least a little!
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Offline AfternoonRose

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Re: Anxiety at the office
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2014, 10:44:48 PM »
I've worked with the same company of 10 people for the past 3 years.

I have anxiety and I work in a company of 200 people =/

If you feel like you're accompanying a bunch of strangers to lunch and you don't really talk to any of them... you need to make yourself a work friend, like, just someone to sit next to during lunches and to talk to at events. Otherwise, obviously you will feel awkward and lonely at these group events. If you don't feel there is anyone you click with enough for that, then you know what, nobody says you have to attend them (wait, do they?... lol). Anyway, people will understand that you are not a people's person. I mean, you've been working with them for three years, I don't think anyone will be shocked if you turn down invitations, seeing that you've always been shy and independent. I say, try not to stress over it. Go when you feel comfortable, or when you feel you're more in the mood to endure it (lol), but don't force yourself to the point where you are feeling uncomfortable to the point where it might make other people uncomfortable because you're being uncomfortable!!!

Good luck with attending and/or turning down future office events :)
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Offline Snoopy10

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Re: Anxiety at the office
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2014, 09:38:53 AM »
Hi Tiebo - I completely empathize with your situation!  I have been the same way for 42 years. 

You mentioned bad experiences when you've gone out to lunch with co-workers, what was bad?

Let's say you panicked and started to cry and had to go to the bathroom to escape. People will assume something else is wrong, like you got in a fight with your husband or something. No one ever thinks it's anxiety. The only people who can tell its anxiety are people with anxiety, and we will always completely understand and empathize.

I recently had someone blurt out (she had had some wine, the 'ol truth serum) that a group of people that I had met thought I was "aloof" and unfriendly.  Then later when they got to know me, they thought I was an alright person.  I was furious at first. How mean of them to judge me when it was just my social anxiety manifesting itself? But then I thought, who cares if they thought I was aloof? It's better then them thinking I had a bad personality.

It's really hard and it never will completely go away. But here and there, try taking a risk and see what happens. It's probably not as bad as you think. And look at it this way, at least you aren't the jerk at lunch who drones on and on about themselves and never let's anyone else talk!
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Offline Snoopy10

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Re: Anxiety at the office
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2014, 09:41:48 AM »
P.s. After that person made the aloof comment, I decided I wasn't aloof, I was "mysterious" .    :P
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Offline fortunetsoul

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Re: Anxiety at the office
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2014, 12:09:01 AM »
Boy, does this sound familiar!! I've never really thought about what they say about me at the office, but now since reading these replies, I have anxiety thinking about the possibilities...I have never fit in, it started in a very religious upbringing, not being let go to parties, prom, etc.  So, of course, I wouldn't learn social skills...and now that I'm in my 50's, I'm more at ease with myself and my shortcomings, (because let's face it everyone has those), if not SAD, we all have something, some sort of insecurity that we have to deal with our whole lives.  It doesn't make us "weird", if anything I think people with anxiety disorders are more intuitive than most people and make really good listeners...so instead of playing up on our inadequacies, believe in yourself that you have very valuable qualities, unlike that guy that goes on and on about himself...can I have a high-five to all of you highly sensitive and caring people?
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Offline Snoopy10

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Re: Anxiety at the office
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2014, 09:30:27 AM »
High-five!!  :happy0151:
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Offline philp5787

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Re: Anxiety at the office
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2014, 09:19:47 AM »
People always breach down and discrepancies each other, don't think about them what other saying about you. I never think that what people are thinking about me
I'm 44 years young and have been dealing with social anxiety for what I thought was all my life. about 10 years or so ago I had ran into a high school friend who made note of not my anxiety (which I assumed was the highlight of my personality people would remember) but it was that I was the "introvert" in the bunch. This is something I never really looked at in all my searching/reading up on/ learning about my anxiety, but it opened up a new door of understanding myself. In looking into some of the character treats of those who are introverts, I have found that some of my biggest hurdles of correcting my social anxiety have a lot in common with an introverts personality. There is nothing wrong with being an introvert (though extroverts may disagree lol ) introverts can be easily worn out by there surroundings (work, socializing, constant loud noises) once this energy is gone we find ourself as if we haven't slept in days! without a chance to recharge ourselves with some alone time, silence in thought, forward planning. You may want to look into the possibility that the introvert part of you is what is holding you back more then the social anxiety, I'm not saying it isn't there, I'm simply saying it's easier to let others know you are an introvert and need a heads up as far as throwing you off your routine-maybe plan that you will go for lunches every other Friday or what ever suits you. This can also come in handy for any large changes in work policies in general. There is nothing wrong with asking for advanced notice.
Once I found the differences and connections social anxiety and introversion I could learn to work/live/interact with others with a simple set of ground rules for other and myself, compaired with always getting down on myself for not being everyone else.  :winking0008:

Nice answer :yes:
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Tags: Lunch anxiety work office 
 

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