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I'm lost, please advice

Hi guys,

Recently, I had a meeting with my boss, which was shocking to me. She said that my colleagues complain about me not going with them anywhere, like after work or for a lunch. Also, that I sound too strict, by answering too short - without explaining why I do not go. And that I am very emotional, that when I am in a bad mood everyone see. Then my boss mentioned that I am living like in my own little bubble and I just started crying. I felt so embarrassed and I couldn’t stop, all those thoughts what horrible person I am and how much I hurt others. It happened so suddenly, week before this meeting I got promotion and I started thinking maybe I am doing good job. I started to believe in myself, that I can do something in my life and change things I am not happy about. I don’t remember what she was saying after mentioning bubble. At some point she left (it was already after work hours) I sit there for an hour trying to block all those thoughts and not to cry and somehow go home unnoticed by colleagues. It was few weeks ago and when I do not think about this, it is easier, but those thoughts keep attacking me.

First day after the meeting I couldn’t look anyone in the eyes. Every time I remember this I start crying and I just want to leave my job, but I also feel like in that way I would run from my problems by choosing the easiest way. I do not know how to deal with this.

In this last half-year I forced myself to go to one event. I thought that it would be enough to keep everyone happy. And sometimes I really want to go to one of those events, but it is just so hard. I’m afraid of people. I can’t stop thinking of million reasons what would someone say or what I should say and if I say something wrong or what others will think or what will happen and I just don’t go. Then they start asking why and I don’t have any answers. It is so terrifying and there are so many people and I can not say. I feel lost and I I do not know what to do. How do I fix me?

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I don’t think that you’re in trouble, I think that this was a sort of tap on your shoulder, asking: “Hey, did you know that you’re doing this?” I have to beg to get someone to do this to me.

Your boss was probably telling you those things because they want to keep you and are worried about you. Don’t worry. You got that promotion because you are good at your job and not going to lunch isn’t going to change that. You aren’t going to be fired. You aren’t in trouble. You aren’t hurting people. You might be annoying people. You’re doing fine.

My recommendation on what to do next may be the scariest thing that you have ever done: go back to work, talk with your boss, and ask for a list on paper of what she was saying. Tell her to put everything on there, everything that people don’t like about you. Get the list from her and put it somewhere safe where you can remember it, and then try to have a normal workday. Don’t remember breaking down in tears, remember all the other days that you have had your job because nothing has changed: who you were then is basically who you are now except with less existential anxiety. At the end of the day, take the list home. When you get home, read the list, but do not think of these as failures, think of them like projects to work on. The next day, pick a project, something small, like “not sounding ‘strict.’” Work on it until you don’t sound ‘strict.’ Then pick another project. You might need to ask a coworker or two about how good you are doing. This will be scary. It also makes your coworkers embarrassed for no reason the first few times so focus on that, instead.

You can also make a list of things that you don’t like about your personality. This isn’t where you put down “I’m too fat,” this is a list where you put down “I can’t go to corporate events” and “People are scary” and “I live in a bubble.” These are also projects to be worked on. Keep working on these projects and eventually how you seem to others will be closer to how you seem to yourself. You can also get closer to being who you want to be.

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It can be so hard when you’re in a position of authority and you’re trying to have people’s respect but also be friends with them. I’ve sorta been there before, so I promise you’ll figure it out soon. If you feel insecure about something in a social setting, think, “ am I currently thinking about anyone else in this way?” Chances are you aren’t thinking/judging someone else, and that’s the same for them! They most likely aren’t thinking about/judging your insecurities, they just care about getting to know you, and make connections with you. You can lead the way you need to lead. And that’s ok! I hope this advise helps! Thanks for sharing! :heart:

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Hi, dear!

I am an introverted. I am not always excited for social events, mostly because I do not want to spend money or start making conversations.
I know it’s not a problem, I try to socialize eventually and meet friends once and then.
If you do not feel comfortable around people that’s nothing worng with that. You can socialize with your co-workers whenever you want to. Nobody should force anybody to do something they do not want to.
Talk to your boss a little bit about your thoughts, he/she will understand once you try to clear things out.
Do you want to spend time with them? If yes, try to go out with them. If not, do not go, talk to your boss/ explain to your coworkers you are not in the mood for going out in an event.
You should enjoy your own company first before trying to jumping in making friends, socialize.

Cheers,
Van

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