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Anxiety incoming

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  • #405596
    Hailey
    Participant

    Good Day everyone,

    I’ve always had anxiety and since I’ve been working, my anxiety has gotten worse. Emotional instability, acid reflux, hand tremors, insomnia, these symptoms led me to quit my job. My anxiety came from relationships and a high level of self-importance.

    After a gap of a year, I read a lot about anxiety disorders. I had 3 months of no anxiety, slept well, and had no hand tremors. I thought I had cured my anxiety. So I went back to work. The first month I was fine, but the second month I started to become more and more anxious and all the symptoms came back.

    Since I had to be in contact with people and I was afraid of making a fool of myself, the more I said, the more wrong I was. Then I regretted why I said so many wrong things and offended people. I was so worried that they would misunderstand me and hate me. I could see the look of embarrassment on their faces when I said those things. I missed the time to explain. I’ve been very careful about what I say. It happens to me every time, but every time I can’t learn my lesson.

     

    Another thing that makes me feel anxious is my job. Because I couldn’t able to achieve the results my bosses expect. I know they won’t fire me or distrust me for that. But you also know that if you can’t meet them it means you’re not good enough for the job. I know that facing fear is about accepting your shortcomings very well, facing them, and then overcoming them. I’ve been doing meditations to open myself up, gratitude my life and rationalize how to face this. But I’m still anxious, and I overwhelmed by all the anxiety symptoms.

    Could anyone advice me what could I do?

    #405712
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Hailey:

    You asked for advice. I would like to give you advice specific to you, outside the general advice you can get online, including on the home page of this website, under BLOG, therefore I ask:

    1. “My anxiety came from relationships and a high level of self-importance“- can you tell me what you mean by “self-importance”?

    2. “The more I said, the more wrong I was. Then I regretted why I said so many wrong things and offended people“- can you give me a few examples of things that you said that were wrong and/ or offensive to people and describe in a sentence of two the context in which each thing was said?

    3. “I was so worried that they would misunderstand me and hate me“- you wrote this regarding the context of the workplace. Can you tell me who misunderstood you and hated you when you were a child or a teenager?

    anita

    #405953
    Hailey
    Participant

    Hi anita,

    1. I’m so sorry, I got an typo. Actually is high self ego.

    2. For example, my colleague bought a house, which is a happy thing. But I asked her why she wanted to buy a house in an area with a high crime rate instead of congratulating her. I was worried about her safety but I missed the timing to explain why I said that.  She was so awkward and walked away with an unhappy face. After that, she kept targeting me.

    3. When I was in school, I was disliked by my classmates every single year. I had good friends every year of school, but at the end my friendship always didn’t end well. Recently I talked to my best friend about this, my friend told me that my emotional intelligence is very low.

    #405955
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Hailey

    I understand where you are coming from.

    Sometimes I say things that sound negative atto others, but they are just facts. I too am well meaning in my intensions. Other times, it is an automatic response that I haven’t thought about.

    I try to balance this out by regularly complimenting people. That way people can give me the benefit of doubt when I unintentionaly upset someone. If you are friendly with people and maintain a good relationship with them they tend to be very forgiving. This involves asking people about their lives, remembering important information such as names of spouses, children, interests.

    I think everyone has this issue on some level because language is so complex. Communication is difficult!

    When people feel insecure they naturally assume the worst. If you don’t have a good relationship with someone or have no relationship with them and they have mental health issues of their own they can very easily take things the wrong way.

    Personally, if people say things that are upsetting I like to rationalize it by understanding that the individual could be struggling in some way. I realised that people often say (or do) upsetting things when they are stressed. It is an unhealthy coping mechanism. This helps me understand that I am not really the cause of their pain.

    For example, if I say something with good intentions and someone takes it the wrong way. I rationalise this as a misunderstanding. If they act out because of a misunderstanding they are struggling with their own issues and potentially are very stressed. What was said was a very small misunderstanding and the behavior is disproportionate therefore this has nothing to do with me.

    #405967
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Hailey:

    “I know that facing fear is about accepting your shortcomings very well, facing them, and then overcoming them… my friend told me that my emotional intelligence is very low”-

    – if your shortcoming is low emotional intelligence (EI), to overcome it, you can learn and increase your EI. The higher your EI, the lower your anxiety in the workplace and in other social situations.

    “For example, my colleague bought a house, which is a happy thing. But I asked her why she wanted to buy a house in an area with a high crime rate instead of congratulating her. I was worried about her safety but I missed the timing to explain why I said that.  She was so awkward and walked away with an unhappy face. After that, she kept targeting me”-

    In the above, I boldfaced what you retroactively figured, that is, after the exchange. At the time of the exchange, you were not aware, or not adequately aware that it was a happy thing that she bought a house (and therefore congratulation her would have been appropriate). Instead, you were worried so you asked that question. You reacted to your emotion (worry), not considering her emotion (happy, proud perhaps).

    This is a significant part of what a low EI is about: being aware of, and reacting to your own emotions while having no adequate awareness of the other person’s emotions and therefore not considering the other’s emotions when reacting.

    When your colleague shared that she bought a house, did she share it with a frown or a smile? A shaky, weak voice or a confident, strong voice?

    If she shared it with a frown and a weak voice, the appropriate response would be to ask her (with concern and empathy in your voice and face), something like: you seem worried about it, are you?

    If she replies:  says yes, I am worried about the crime rate in the neighborhood, you could then say: oh, I am sorry. When did you find out about the crime rate in the neighborhood? At that point, she could share with you if she knew about the crime rate before she bought the house and if she did, why she bought it anyway. The point in your input would be not to suggest that she was stupid to have bought a house, but to give her the opportunity to comfortably (without being judged) express her emotions.

    Part of EI is being self-aware, that is, aware of your own emotions, strengths and shortcomings. Being aware that your EI is your shortcoming at this time, means that when in social situations such as the workplace, you should say less (“the more I said, the more wrong I was“). You can use the NPAR strategy to accomplish it: someone says something, Notice that you are about to respond, then Pause (say nothing), next Address this question: how should I respond? or should I respond? Next, Respond or not.

    You can prepare a list of standard responses to things people generally say, memorize it and use the list when needed. If someone says something to a group of 2 or more people, and you are one of the group, you can let other people respond first. If their responses are taken well, you can respond similarly to the others.

    Anytime when your emotions are intense, you will need to lower the intensity of your emotions, aka regulate your emotions, before responding. Emotion Regulation is part of EI. For example, a colleague says X, and you feel very anxious, not knowing what to say or do. Instead of just sitting there and saying whatever comes to your anxious mind, you can excuse yourself, walk elsewhere where you have a moment alone, take a few slow breaths and figure out what to say when you return to the colleague. In this example, you regulate your anxiety by taking some alone time for yourself.

    When I was in school, I was disliked by my classmates every single year. I had good friends every year of school, but at the end my friendship always didn’t end well“- were you angry at your classmates before or after the friendships ended?

    anita

    #405968
    Helcat
    Participant

    Anita

    People with low emotional intelligence can have disorders that are the cause. No matter how hard people try for people with disorders this issue may never change.

    #405983
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Hailey:

    I was afraid of making a fool of myself, the more I said, the more wrong I was. Then I regretted why I said so many wrong things and offended people. I was so worried that they would misunderstand me and hate me“-

    -just in case it is a concern for you, I want to assure you that here, on your thread, I will not hate you even if I misunderstand you. If I do not understand anything you say, I will ask you to explain what you meant by what you said, and if you choose to explain, you will… and I will understand. I will not be offended by what you say nor by how much you say. I wish I could read more from you.

    anita

    #406298
    Hailey
    Participant

    Dear Helcat,

    Thank you so much for replying.

    – I’m used to not complimenting people. I guess it’s because my parents never complimented me during my childhood. They only complimented me when I did really good. But that was really rare. So when I realized this, I started learning to praise people. Unfortunately, at the same time, I felt like a hypocrite because when someone did something not that good ( in my opinion) but they are really proud of themselves, I still praised them. But It made me feel disgusted with myself.

    “People with low emotional intelligence can have disorders that are the cause. No matter how hard people try for people with disorders this issue may never change.”

    – May I know what kind of disorders are that??

     

    Dear Anita,

    Sorry for late reply. I was overwhelming by the social interaction anxiety these few days.

    “This is a significant part of what a low EI is about: being aware of, and reacting to your own emotionswhile having no adequate awareness of the other person’s emotions and therefore not considering the other’s emotions when reacting.”

    – Thank you for letting me seeing the new perspectives. You are right, I have been paying attention to my emotions and not the other person’s. I never thought of that before. I always thought my empathy was very strong. But when it comes to communicate, it’s not working at all.

    About this NPAR strategy, could you recommend me any books that I could read to help to improve my EI? I would love to learn and improve my EI. I have been struggling about social interaction or communication for my whole life and I know it is really important for my life as well my anxiety too.

    Hailey.

    #406311
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Hailey:

    You are welcome and I am glad that you posted again. It is never late to post, so your reply is not late.

    I always thought my empathy was very strong. But when it comes to communication, it’s not working at all“- my understanding (and please correct me if I am wrong) is that when you are alone at home, or alone elsewhere, let’s say in a park, you are relatively calm. When alone and relatively calm, and you think about people (or animals) who suffer, or you watch TV and see a person on TV suffer, you feel strong empathy.

    But when you are with people, in social situations, you are so anxious that you don’t feel empathy, or much of any feeling other than anxiety. Am I understanding correctly?

    About this NPAR strategy, could you recommend me any books that I could read to help to improve my EI? I would love to learn and improve my EI“- I can’t recommend any books to you because I haven’t read books for years (I did read very little in one book recently because it was given to me as a gift and didn’t like the book). I donated all the books that I read in the past, so I have no books in mind. I just googled books on the topic and I can see a few titles that include the words emotional intelligence in them. (I came up with the term NPAR, so it’s not in a book).

    My emotional intelligence was low for years before I improved it. What a relief and what a difference this improvement is making in my life, it’s like day and night: life is not easy, but it is so much easier with a higher EI. You know how you operate in life using your five senses, well EI is like a valuable extra sense that makes you understand people (including yourself) so much better. It makes you more and more confident around people because you view yourself as.. well, emotionally intelligent, and people usually respond very well to emotionally intelligent people.

    I just googled further and came across a website called talent LMS. com/ Emotional Intelligence. Looks like it offers courses for managers in the workplace, but maybe it can help you too.  EQ, by the way,  stands for Emotional Quotient and it means the same as Emotional Intelligence. The courses listed are titled: “What is EQ?”, “Self-Awareness”,  “Self-Regulation”, “Emotional Intelligence: motivation”, “Emotional Intelligence: empathy”, “Social Skills”, “Improving your EQ“, and more.

    So you see, you can improve your EI (aka EQ). If you would like to, you and I can keep communicating and…  improve each other’s EI!

    anita

    #406335
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Hailey!

    Lovely to hear from you again! I’m enjoying communicating with you. I love your self-motivated drive to learn about these topics. You

    It is a shame that your parents didn’t compliment you more during childhood. Every child deserves to be complimented and praised regularly.

    I can understand feeling pressure to praise people because they were proud of something even though you disagreed. Sometimes the best thing to say when you disagree with something is nothing at all. It is perfectly acceptable to do so. Non-committal responses can be more polite though to show that you are listening. Ahh and okay. That type of thing.

    I’m sure with more practice you will get the hang of complimenting people in a way that you are comfortable with.

    I wonder, do you have any strategies to lower anxiety at work? Is that where you have the most anxiety communicating? What situations make you most anxious?

    I find that the more anxious I am, the more mistakes I make while communicating. Figuring out ways to lower the anxiety has been really important.

    I tend to write scripts for myself to read from if I’m feeling anxious about communicating. Then I practice and memorise them at home and refer to my notes as needed.

    It’s good to hear that you are practicing gratitude and meditation. In addition to that, I have found yoga extremely helpful. By learning to relax my muscles, I learned how to relax my mind and emotions. I’m also fond of practising diaphragm breathing and progressive muscle relaxation at the moment.

    Various conditions such as autism, dyspraxia and mental health issues can cause difficulties with emotional intelligence. It is entirely possible to have no disorders and experience difficulties with emotional intelligence though.

    #406884
    anita
    Participant

    How are you, Hailey?

    anita

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