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Adjusting to new situations

Recently, I have gotten a new job and this is effecting me in ways I associate with my anxiety and how I present myself the the world. I don’t see myself as a human being people want to meet but more or less avoid. I’m turning 16 in less than a month which also puts me in a weird zone due to peer pressure to be more social and I can’t feel comfortable in most public situations. I know this is just what’s normal at my age but I just don’t feel right in my skin and how what I currently have is going to affect my future.

Re: Adjusting to new situations

I'm sorry to hear that @Jeplar, it sounds like you're in a really tough situation. You're absolutely right in saying that often, because of an array of factors, lots of teenagers feel the same sense of self-consciousness that you are, but I'm sorry to hear that it's affecting your anxiety in social situations. 

 

From personal experience, I think if in public situations (like the ones I assume you encounter at work), if you have some coping mechanisms to lessen bouts of rising anxiety, it'll go hand in hand with making you feel more comfortable in your skin. One of the simplest techniques is, when you feel the signs of anxiety, finish the task at hand and take a step back from everything. Close your eyes, breathe in deeply and count for 10 seconds in your head, before expelling the breathe. This stops your thoughts from spiralling negatively, and puts you back into your present situation. Try it a few times if once isn't enough.

 

Also, specifically with the idea that people want to avoid you, perhaps you could dispel this notion for yourself? I know it's hard to make friends in a new environment, but perhaps try approaching other people of the same age working at your new job casually, and have small conversations to become a part of the community at your job. Knowing you have acquaintances (and then friends) at your job, might make you feel more comfortable working and increase your confidence.

 

I hope with time and some of these techniques, you'll start to feel more comfortable with yourself Smiley Happy

And can I just say how commendable it is that, with how busy an almost-16 year old's life is anyway, you're still putting yourself out there and getting a job? Honestly, that's awesome initiative Smiley Very Happy

Re: Adjusting to new situations

Hey @Jeplar :-)

 

Sorry to hear about the effect of your job on your anxiety. @sweet_baking has already given you some great suggestions, so I just wanted to ask if there are any activities that normally calm you down or distract you? Or are there any you are thinking of taking up?

Re: Adjusting to new situations

Hey @Jeplar just wanted to jump in and say I completely agree with @sweet_baking - it's amazing that you have put yourself out there, getting a job is a huge achievement! Smiley Happy

 

However it can also be really stressful and it's great that you've been able to identify that it has been contributing to your anxiety. I saw on another thread you mentioned you were seeing a school counsellor, how are things going with them?

Re: Adjusting to new situations

Hi @Jeplar

I'm sorry to hear that you're going through a challenging time. I agree with @May_ because that is such a big achievement to get a new job. Well done!

From personal experience the beginning of getting a new job is usually especially stressful just because you have to learn everything that you have to do but I find that with each passing day it will get easier with getting the hang of things(even if it's just a little bit). 

@sweet_baking has mentioned some great coping mechanisms. When I am anxious I find it especially helpful to remember to breathe. Nice long deep breaths. 

Please keep us updated! 

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Re: Adjusting to new situations

Hello @Jeplar,

 

Oftentimes, we are our own harshest critic. It is likely that people do not want to avoid you at all but because they may have a misconception that you may not want them to approach you or talk to you. Perhaps there might be some non-verbal or body language signs that you might not be aware of? Not everyone feels comfortable in their own skin, there are people who never really come to term with who or what they are until much later in life if at all. Maybe you just need to look at things differently. How about try listing traits that you like about yourself? Do you have a beautiful smile? Sparkling eyes? Think back to all those times people have complimented you and perhaps you'll be able to see what others see in you which you had failed to see. As for social situations, yes there is a pressure to be more social, but you only have to do it to the level you are comfortable. Try just flashing a smile and looking open and maybe it is they that will come to you. You could just pretend that those people are friends you know but haven't seen for a long time and are just trying to slowly catch up. You could try basic greetings and compliment them on something and see how it progresses from there. Most people, although they might not seem it, are just as nervous and afraid of coming off badly as well so they would most likely not notice it if you do something wrong as they will be worrying more about how you see them! You could try to go to events you are interested in as you might feel more comfortable and feel like you belong with people who share similar passions to you. I am sure that if you put an effort into it, it will turn out well. If you don't try, you'll miss out on meeting many great people.

 

So try your best!

 

Winter Rain