Networking with Social Anxiety: Is It Possible?

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Social anxiety disorder involves having an unreasonably high amount of concern with how other people perceive you. People with social anxiety disorder are particularly fearful of being seen in a negative light; they do not want to be rejected or judged as inadequate.

Social anxiety disorder can be an obstacle to your goals, both personal and professional.

Fortunately, there are little ways you can overcome your social anxiety long enough to make the connections that can help you along in your career.

A blogger with social anxiety disorder writes about how she has learned to work through her nervousness to meet with people who can aid her professional growth.

As a musician with social anxiety, she has had to find ways to communicate with others that cause her and the people around her the least amount of discomfort. One very useful suggestion she has is to come up with a list of brief, general questions to ask relevant to their career and your career. She also says to listen carefully to the responses and focus more on them than on yourself to keep from getting too anxious.

For more helpful advice on how to network with social anxiety, read the article at the link here:

http://blogs.laweekly.com/westcoastsound/2013/01/schmoozing_101_or_making_your.php

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

ShakeNoMore February 21, 2013 at 11:46 am

I love the idea of making a list of the worst possible consequences of talking to someone. I think that could really help put things in perspective, instead of just listening to the internal mess of vague fears.

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josjane1406 February 21, 2013 at 4:05 pm

And I like the idea of making a list of questions to ask. I can never think of new topics. I also have trouble thinking on my feet. I was talking to a new acquaintance recently, and after the fact, I realized that I had misunderstood some of what she had said and responded wrong. Events like that are what make me hesitant to put myself out there to meet new people.

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Rich Presta February 22, 2013 at 6:21 pm

I think that most people are somewhat apprehensive to meet new people, especially if there’s a reason they feel they need to “do well”, but true social anxiety takes it to a different level of fear and avoidance. The questions are a great idea since they can make you feel more prepared, but it’s still always okay to not do “perfect” too!

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Rhonda C February 22, 2013 at 4:44 pm

There are some great ideas in that article. I’ve found that I can network fine online and have made some great connections, but when it comes to trying to do this face-to-face, I shut down. I never thought of this as anxiety disorder before. I just have been painfully shy since I was a kid but now I’m wondering if it isn’t indicative of more.

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Rich Presta February 22, 2013 at 6:26 pm

I think it really depends in the degree of anxiety you experience and the effect it has on your life, it isn’t as clear cut as many other things that can be accurately measured. Being introverted is fine, I’m that way too, but letting fear hold you back is something else. There’s actually a really good book titled “Quiet” that discusses introversion and why it’s not a bad thing…great read!

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