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Health and Wellness

I May Have Social Anxiety, But I Still Work With People Every Day

I need to flip a kind of mental switch.

I May Have Social Anxiety, But I Still Work With People Every Day

I know some people are sick of hearing others call themselves introverts, anxious, and/or socially awkward. But guess what? It's probably true.

I label myself within these descriptors, but that doesn't mean I don't interact with people or that I have less opportunity in my life.

I have found that social interaction in my life has to include a fair amount of separation and/or distance for me. With my job, I need to be clear on what to tell visitors, while also retaining focus on my other tasks.

In order to have a smooth conversation, I need to flip a kind of mental switch, which allows me to ignore the constant fear that I'm doing something wrong.

I think a big reason why this works for me is that I know myself. This is key to finding the best way to live with your anxiety for you.

I've found that in the past few years I've become better able to handle my anxiety, especially when talking or presenting in front of a group. The anxiety isn't gone. I can still feel it creeping up in those situations.

Usually, I begin conversations with the idea that this person will judge every word I say and how I say it. That they are also focusing on how I'm breathing, or how I'm standing. Aspects of interactions that you may never have thought about before. This is my normal.

So, I don't know what is "normal," but the sense of expectation is much clearer. Which is why I have had to work on myself and my overreactions to do a job that may seem like second nature.

Conversation doesn't come easy. A smile may not permanently on my face. This doesn't mean I won't greet people, smile, and do my best to help customers while at work.

It is okay for these simple things to almost always be a challenge for you.

It is okay to keep up a kind of wall if that is what you need to do.

I, and I'm sure other people who have anxiety, are capable of overcoming these issues without making it seem like it.

I genuinely love my job, which requires a lot of social interaction.

Enjoying my job doesn't change my reality and my reactions, nor does it mean I am getting rid of my anxiety.

I don't know if that ever truly goes away, but even so, it gets better. And it doesn't always have to hinder you or your options in life.

You know yourself best, and you know that regardless of how crippling it may seem, you are not defined by your anxiety.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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