Hi all! I know there is another post about social anxiety but my situation seems quite different so that's why I'm just posting my own. I know that I've had social anxiety since I was a child. I've also struggled with depression as well. All my life I've tried pushing through it but in truth seeking out conversation with my peers is really hard for me because I am so nervous about saying the wrong thing or acting awkward that I tend to well... say the wrong thing or act awkward. Sometimes when it gets too overwhelming for me I can zone out and get into my own world and stop contributing to group conversations, so I can see them seeing me as disinterested. My social anxiety and depression got so bad last year when I first started my nursing career that I gained 20 pounds and even started having thoughts that the world would be better off without me. Needless to say I sought out therapy. So far my depression has mostly lifted but my anxiety is still a major issue with work. I see my therapist every other week but truth be told, some weeks are better than others in terms of my confidence. When I walk into a room only a handful of other nurses will acknowledge me, I always have to say hello first. I put on my best friendly face but it really feels to me at times that everyone I work with dislikes me. I of course know that isn't true because some people do talk to me. I'm a people pleaser so when I believe that a person doesn't have a good impression of me I go out of my way to try to talk to them. I try to strike up conversation with certain people and only get one worded answers and they never ask about me. It's just so hard because I know that I am a good person. When my coworkers gossip I don't engage and I'm helpful whenever I see an opportunity to be. I honestly don't know what to do. Mentally I'm doing so much better than last year, but I fear that because when I first started and had such bad depression and anxiety that even though I'm better now, I've sealed my fate. Should I quit and start with a new slate somewhere else? Is it possible to dig myself out of a social grave?
No. Don't quit. It sounds like you are doing fine with how you approach others and your work. It's hard to be new anywhere so some anxiety is really pretty normal. I do not mean to diminish your battle that guided you to seek out help. Just want to say that having "work friends" isn't the end-all be-all. You are there for the patients first. Be polite, and helpful when you can to your colleagues, but don't expect too much from them. They have their own stress.
Keep on your healing path! Best to you!!!
Sending a hug your way!