According to the Mayo Clinic, social anxiety disorder is a “chronic mental health condition in which social interactions cause irrational anxiety”. Oftentimes, people with social anxiety fear being judged and worry about embarrassment, humiliation, or even offending someone while in conversation.
Social anxiety is very common – so much so that, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 12.1% of American adults experience it at some point in their lives. Although lots of people experience social anxiety, it’s not easy to deal with, especially while managing relationships, tasks, and more in the work environment.
In this blog, I’ll go over some tips on how you can be successful at work while dealing with social anxiety. Let’s dive in.
Tips for Being Successful at Work with Social Anxiety
1. Seek Professional Help
The first tip I would give for being successful at work with social anxiety would be to seek professional help. Social anxiety shouldn’t be taken lightly, and it’s essential to get the help that you need. Therapists and counselors are great outlets to talk to about social anxiety, and doing so will likely help you learn to better-manage it, both in your personal life and in the workplace.
2. Prepare for Anxiety-Provoking Situations
The second tip I would give for being successful at work with social anxiety would be to prepare for anxiety-provoking situations. Depending on the person, these situations can include attending meetings, presenting in front of groups, talking to coworkers, and more. Preparing for situations in which you feel your social anxiety may flare up will likely help calm that anxiety because you’re taking greater control over it. Prep work will also help you build confidence, which is very useful in dealing with this challenge.
3. Set Realistic Goals
The third tip I would give for being successful at work with social anxiety would be to set realistic goals. Set goals that are challenging, yet achievable, and make a plan to follow through on them. Setting realistic goals will help combat social anxiety because it will help you achieve confidence in both your goals and your ability to complete them. Amidst talking to others about work-related things, you can remain calm and confident in both yourself and in your work, and that’s not something that should be taken lightly.
4. Focus on Your Strengths
The fourth tip I would give for being successful at work with social anxiety is to focus on your strengths. Consistently remind yourself of what you’re good at and why those things are your strong suits. Believing in your ability to do good work will boost your confidence, which, as I’ve previously mentioned, is always a good thing while dealing with social anxiety. Focus on your strengths, and you’ll radiate those well!
5. Find a Support System
Last but not least, the fifth tip I would give for being successful at work with social anxiety is to find a support system. Whether that support system is inside or outside of work, find people who you can confide in about the social anxiety you’re experiencing. This will not only help you feel less alone, but it will also prevent you from trying to keep this a secret, which could ultimately do more harm than good. Talking with people you trust about your struggles and finding support in those individuals can make all the difference – I’d highly recommend giving it a try.
Social anxiety is an issue that millions of Americans struggle with, and it has the ability to negatively affect us in all different environments, including that of the workplace. And although facing social anxiety is daunting, it’s important in overcoming it.
So with that, if you’re dealing with this challenge, and especially that in the work environment, I hope you’ll give these tips a try. I believe in you in facing your social anxiety, and want you to know that you can achieve anything when you put your mind to it. You got this, and remember, you’re never alone.