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Jennifer
Jennifer, School Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 397
Experience:  Extensive experience fostering family relationships through consultation / counseling.
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Hi how do I overcome fear of people

Resolved Question:

Hi how do I overcome fear of people
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Jennifer replied 4 years ago.
Hello and thanks for using Justanswer.com!

What specifically do you fear? For example, is it the social situations and how to act in various settings? Or fear of someone in particular?

Once I have more information I'd be happy to help.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi I think it could be a number of things. There would be most social situations usually in the work setting. First small situations like Im called into the office. Most of the time its just telling me to do something, also if its a disipline type situation then I have fear. and if its adding a little work or signing a paper. I cant speak in front of people. It seems like I cant advance myself because of this. In addition it could be certain people too for example if I say something they may use it against me later. Im sorry for such a long answer but those were very good response questions that helped me, usually I have a hard time communicating. thank you so much, and have a nice night I may have to go now, and repond at another day.

Expert:  Jennifer replied 4 years ago.
That's not a long answer at all -- Feel free to add more if you find there are other examples you've thought of.

If you're looking to learn how to speak in front of people, you could try something like Toastmasters. It may help you to learn how to become more confident in social settings and give you ample practice socializing with others.

It may be helpful to think about the specific instances you find yourself feeling the most anxiety. Is it the morning social check-in where everyone chats about what they did over the weekend? Or the mid-day "shop talk" around the coffee pot? Think about the specific social situations where you find you feel the most anxiety. By doing this, you're identifying what it is you need to prepare yourself for. Then you can plan ahead (and thus feel more confident about what you'll be able to contribute to the conversation). Perhaps you come in to the office with a few ideas for things to discuss -- something you saw on TV or even something as non-threatening as the weather forecast for the week. Try initiating that part of the conversation and see where it goes. A few suggestions for strong communication skills:

* Active listening -- Eye contact, body language (don't check your watch or tap your foot as if you're not interested, for example) and allow the person to finish their train of thought.

* Ask clarifying questions -- This shows you were listening, are interested, and furthers the conversation by having them elaborate on a detail.

As far as getting called into the office, this is a very normal anxiety-producing situation. It's OK to feel a little nervous, particularly if you're not sure why you're being called in. Try to prepare yourself through some self-talk and relaxation techniques. Perhaps you'll take 3 deep breaths and say to yourself something that feels empowering (for example, "I'm good at my job and I'm proud of my work.") Then stand tall and walk in with an optimistic mind -- it may simply be to give you an assignment as you said it sometimes can be. If the situation requires discipline, you could prepare by having some ready-made responses for that as well. Wait to speak, take a deep breath, then simply say, "I understand." Elaborate if needed, but keep it as short and simple as possible. No need to draw out an uncomfortable situation and my guess is you both have work to do.

In the meantime, practice using your social skills. This could be done when you're out and about (ask the cashier how his / her day is going) or through organized opportunities to meet / talk to other people about common points of interest (volunteer work, community classes, sports / recreation groups). It's scary to join those sorts of things at first, but usually there are SEVERAL people there who don't know anyone and this makes for an easy initial social connection.

Now I'm the one with a long answer! I hope you find some of this helpful!

Jennifer, School Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 397
Experience: Extensive experience fostering family relationships through consultation / counseling.
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