Does talking to people help improve social anxiety? - Forums at Psych Central


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Old 07-09-2018, 12:05 PM #1
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Default Does talking to people help improve social anxiety?

I get really nervous talking to people I donít know. I want everyone to think I am cool and laid-back but I get so awkward and shaky when I talk, it just makes me look weird. However once Iím in a conversation I donít really have a problem talking or being friendly, Iím just awkward and afraid they will think Iím weird. Iím starting a customer service job soon. Will that help me get better or will it get worse?
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:49 AM #2
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Smile Re: Does talking to people help improve social anxiety?

Hello Marblesy: I noticed this is your first post here on PC. So welcome to PsychCentral! I hope you find PC to be of benefit.

I'm not sure what to tell you about your situation. I think it's probably one of those things where you just have to try it & see how it goes. I did something similar to this many years ago. And, in my case, I don't know as it made things worse, but didn't make them any better either. Since, once you're in a converation you don't really have a problem talking or being friendly, I'd think perhaps that is a good sign!

Here are links to some articles, from PsychCentral's archives, that offer suggestions for how to manage social anxiety in particular as well as anxiety in general. Perhaps some of the ideas in these articles can be of some help:

https://psychcentral.com/lib/6-ways-...ocial-anxiety/

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/being...ocial-anxiety/

https://psychcentral.com/blog/treati...ness-training/

https://psychcentral.com/lib/social-...-in-your-mind/

https://psychcentral.com/lib/9-ways-...ere-right-now/

https://psychcentral.com/blog/11-tip...anage-anxiety/

https://psychcentral.com/lib/15-smal...iety-symptoms/

https://psychcentral.com/lib/top-10-...s-for-anxiety/

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Old 07-12-2018, 11:48 PM #3
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Default Re: Does talking to people help improve social anxiety?

For me, customer service did help. It was VERY hard though. I did 5 years of it in a retail environment. I think it greatly depends on how bad your anxiety is. You sound similar to me from what you've described here, so it may very well help you too. What also helped me a lot was talking to people in any way possible - that meant text-based places like forums and IMs, and voice programs for both gaming and just chatting socially.
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Old 09-22-2018, 01:31 AM #4
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Default Re: Does talking to people help improve social anxiety?

Yes talking to people can help social anxiety some for me. It just depends and certain situations are more anxiety inducing such as being new at a new job, meeting a boyfriendís family since all these situations include being judged, scrutinized, chewed up and spit out. Ok the last part was an exaggeration it just can feel like that sometimes.
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Old 09-22-2018, 04:12 AM #5
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Default Re: Does talking to people help improve social anxiety?

I am in a similar situation where I want to get a job in retail to improve my anxiety. Problem is I'm too anxious to start applying lol

Best wishes!
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Old 10-02-2018, 09:04 AM #6
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Default Re: Does talking to people help improve social anxiety?

Hi Marblesy, being thought of as weird is definitely stressful. I'm in a similar situation as you. I don't have trouble starting the conversation or making that "first impression", but I do have trouble keeping the conversation going.

Do you only feel this way when meeting someone new, or is it with anyone?
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Old 10-05-2018, 09:57 AM #7
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Default Re: Does talking to people help improve social anxiety?

Yes it should help but it will be very stressful must likely and you may find the job is not a good fit. That's ok you will then know you don't want to work in that field again and you can move on.
Good luck
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Old 10-24-2018, 02:20 AM #8
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Default Re: Does talking to people help improve social anxiety?

Hi, there! I face similar problems. I can do well if I'm talking to just one person. More than one is too draining and awkward for all involved. Sometimes I can't even hold an online chat that involves 3 or more people.

I freelance as an academic editor. I work either from my apartment or a nearby library. I find the job easier since it doesn't require face-to-face communication. Plus, the fact that communication is necessary for this job makes it easier. I have no choice other than to join in on video calls or project meetings. I turn off the video all the time, though.

I only say this because if your job involves email or telephone support more than face-to-face, in-person support, it might be easier than you think!

Since it's more than a month since the original post, I hope your job's going well
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Old 10-26-2018, 12:19 AM #9
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Default Re: Does talking to people help improve social anxiety?

Some of my first few part time jobs were as a cashier and enjoyed it some and was a waitress as well. Also worked in an ice cream store, frozen yogurt store, delivered meal trays in a hospital, worked in a college cafeteria on Sunday brunch and was at the waffle making station, and delivered dinner plates when worked in catering department in college. Some of those jobs were really kind of fun. What is stressful about say waitress is when a customer complains about the food and you are not the cook, just the food server. When had professional job and earned decent living, social anxiety or plain anxiety caught up with me and now have a job I like thats better for an introvert.
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Old 11-03-2018, 05:12 PM #10
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Default Re: Does talking to people help improve social anxiety?

Worked retail for years - and it made me angier, and angrier, and angrier towards people - until it got to the point if I heard a dumb question or a stupid remark I felt like striking them in the face. I do better in small social settings and networking within those groups and meeting one individual at time - rather than discussing anything with a stranger I don't give a toss about.
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