My senior boss thinks im over SA


#1

Hi

To cut a long story short, about a year ago SA got the better of me and after being ask to travel for work I sort of broke down infront of my manager and had no choice but to tell him. At that time i had seen my doctor, was starting anti depressants and was about to start a CBT course 1 to 1. Since that time we met again briefly and he asked me how i was getting on, to which I said it was much better & I am managing it well.
Like most people I dont want my manager thinking I wont be able to fufill my role or that im unstable etc so this wasnt the whole truth.

Now, about a year later he has set up another meeting with me 1 to 1. He has also done this with each member of my team so rationally I know this is just n obligation he has to meet. However, even though the meeting is a week away and im already anxious, tight chest, cant sleep. He is going to ask how things have progressed and I feel like im in the same place I was a year ago. He will again look at me like i cant cope. Then again i will feel back to the point where i have to prove I have it all together, that i can do my job.

Any advice on how i should handle this meeting. How to better explain SA to him. Or should I just tell him im fine so i dont have to get into the detail.

Many Thanks


#2

Overit, if the conversation goes there then my advice would be to be as honest and upfront as you can. It’s important that you understand where you are in your journey to get better. And if you believe that you are able to do this job, and that he has nothing to worry about, then you should be open about that and reassure him. If you’ve been making progress, let him know that. Explain that this is a journey and that you’re on the right path. If your honesty is not well received, then I think you need to ask yourself if you’re in the right job. I know that’s much easier said than done, but there are times in our lives where we are in situations that are just not healthy for us. Of course you have to do what you believe is the right thing for you, but just wanted to share my point of view as I totally understand the stress and anxiety that a situation like this causes. I hope that’s helpful…


#3

I agree with Bonzi’s response above. Let your manager know that overcoming social anxiety is a process and a journey - often a time consuming one & that you are playing an active role in overcoming it.

Also, consider that maybe you are in a better position compared to a year ago? Sometimes, changes are subtle and because they are gradual, we often do not realize that things are moving in the right direction. Notice if you are different in any way - challenge yourself to write down at least 5 ways in which you are better (no matter the degree) compared to a year ago. If your SA comes out strongly at work, focus on other areas of life where changes might have occurred.

Hope this helps and wish you all the best!


#4

Wait and see what he says. He may not even bring it up at all.

Have you been doing the therapy here for the past year? I can quickly point out a few ANTs from your writing:

“He is going to ask how things have progressed and I feel like im in the same place I was a year ago.”
Are you sure of this? Maybe he won’t even ask - “most of what we worry about never happens anyways…”

“He will again look at me like i cant cope.”
Has he truly looked at you this way before? Or did you just feel this way because of your old negative thinking? If he thought you can’t cope than why are you still there a year later?

“Then again i will feel back to the point where i have to prove I have it all together, that i can do my job.”
You don’t have to prove yourself to anyone or yourself…and if you’re doing the therapy the progress you are making is permanent…

Use some of the attitude statements regarding the situation or rational coping statements - they will help with your anticipatory anxiety about it. Stay active - exercise and eat well.

You got this. :slight_smile:


#5

Hi Everyone.

Thank you for taking the time & offering great advice. Appreciated.

@Bonzi @tea I will try to be honest him. It is a journey and I honestly felt at the time I was getting better. I have since realised its a much longer process & I was just avoiding it for a while. Then it sort of came back with a bang!

Would I say I have made progress? My first reaction is no. Then i sat down with pen & paper then i managed to come up with a few things. 1 of the most important things is that I have a greater understanding of SA and how it impacts me personally. I have got back into therapy, here, which I am doing daily. I have realised that there are strategies i can use that will help if I practice. So yes there is some progress.

@dougief7 I havent been here for a year no, i only found this in August. I did some cbt with a therapist who pushed me into doing things that provoked anxiety and then made me write down the evidence etc…it just felt like too much at the time & probably even now for me.
The ANTS you mentioned were so useful, thankyou. I find it so hard to pick up on these, when written out by you I can see how negative and presumptious I can be.

So, i have gone back over the ANTS handout and will try harder to catch and stop these thoughts/feelings.

Best Wishes!


#6

Going back over the handouts sounds like a good plan. :+1:

As for what you mentioned about a therapist pushing you to do things you’re not ready for, this is an issue many of us run into. If the therapist doesn’t truly understand how to treat social anxiety they may try and make you do things you’re not ready for (the audio series covers this). But, nonetheless keep going over the therapy and you’ll be doing more things with less anxiety before you realize it.

Best of luck.


#7

Thanks again @dougief7

After all the anxiety of the last few days something came up today that i would normaly avoid and so I thought, slow down, dont listen to that same old voice, you can do this…and i did. Now i am heading home pretty pleased with myself. Small victories :blush:


#8

Hi overit,
I’m so happy to hear of your small victory!!! Congratulate yourself!! You are starting to make small progress toward overcoming SA and will continue to move forward!! I know how bad anxiety can make us feel but using these strategies is extremely helpful in cutting down these feelings. Keep up the good work! Good luck to all ! :smile:


#9

Hi Overit,

That’s exactly it! Small victories are what get us there. Well done!