Tag Archives: coping with social anxiety

Goodbye face to face interviewer job

My face to face interviewer job ended last year. Rounding off the saga, I’d like to summarise what it was about, and speculate about why, overall, it worked well.

I was quite good at the job, and feel I’ve learned a lot, even though the work was quite repetitive. My boss was happy about my work and communication, and I had plenty of positive feedback from respondents both directly and through the quality control procedures. My response rates were also pretty good – not remarkable compared to the average, but good factoring in that my home range was supposedly hard to get decent results in. I was praised for the quality of my submitted work – data forms and weekly reports – for high accuracy, good order, and entertaining weekly reports.

 
Australian road from front window of car

 
The job ended because my employer had lost their tender for the project, so they had to close the whole project department down and sack everyone involved in the project… That’s all the interviewers, the office staff, and even my lovely boss.

If was a much bigger collapse for some of the other people, than it was for me. The staff turnover was notoriously low among both the office staff and the interviewer crew, and some had been working on the project for  well over a decade – almost since the beginning.

The organisation is the best employer I’ve had, and they handled the close-down well too. There was a proper explanation of what had happened (as much as they knew), scenario-thinking and instructions for what was and wasn’t allowed if moving to the competitor, and there was the usual supportive attitude underpinning the process. My boss also gave everybody her personal email and phone number, so future employers could still contact her for recommendations when she would no longer be working there.
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Blogging as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Social Anxiety, part 5

This post continues the series about Social Anxiety Disorders which started with The Zone of Normality and the fear of standing out, and presents some alternative Cognitive Behaviour Therapy-like approaches to overcoming social anxiety problems.

I have so far written about undertaking a few (almost) conventional CBT strategies. This post is about hybrid, inventive CBT-like strategies using blogging as a catalyst for overcoming social anxiety.

 
The Shyness Project

The Shyness Project by Brittany Wood is a great practical example of a Do It Yourself CBT-like strategy carried out, although Brittany doesn’t call it that. Brittany started her one-year blog project in January 2011 with a goal of overcoming a range of social anxiety problems within one year, progressively month by month. During that year she systematically worked through her anxiety problems by setting up and engaging in trigger-situations with real people and documenting her progress on her blog.

Brittany’s strategies are easy to imitate (and be inspired by), and neatly organised into the problem categories they target, such as Phone Phobia, Talking to Strangers, Dressing Confidently, Public Speaking and Make New Friends. Her blog contains a variety of musings about aspects of social anxiety and socialising, and include guest posts such as this one, and I can warmly recommend The Shyness Project as inspiration.

 
The Shyness Project - Screen print of article
Image from this interview with Brittany in Psychology Today

 
Freelancing and blogging as a cure for phone phobia

One of the most effective things I have done to overcome phone phobia was to research and write a blog series about TelephobiaContinue reading

Worry Record Keeping

Social Anxiety, part 3

I mentioned in the first post in this somewhat old series* that I would write about personal experiences with specific Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) techniques against social anxiety.

The first CBT technique I learned was Worry Record keeping, which I infer is a Cognitive Restructuring technique. It works as follows:

After each experience of social anxiety, fill in a Worry Record form to sort of report the incident to yourself. The purpose is to analyse and expose destructive irrational thinking patterns to take away their power and learn and reinforce new, more constructive cognitive approaches.

Recorded aspects typically include date, duration (when did worrying start and finish in relation to the event), degree of anxiety on a scale, symptoms (tick off from a list), and descriptions of:

  • Trigger event
  • Worried thoughts
  • Anxious behaviours

in relation to each incident of social anxiety.

 
How it worked for me.

In the Social Anxiety case stories, worries were verbalised along the lines of (for example) ‘He thinks I’m incompetent’. ‘I am sweating and loosing control; people can see how nervous I am and think I’m a looser’. ‘I look like a complete idiot’. So they all evolved around a strong need for social accept and a strong awareness of social competition with other people. Moreover they had clear, consistent triggers.

 
depressed turtle with social anxiety - cartoon

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