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How can I earn a living if I have social anxiety?

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If you have social phobia, then your natural reaction to earning a living is to find a job where you do not have to deal with other people. Afterall, people make your anxious, and you want to avoid them to prevent anxiety. However, if you decide to find a job where you have no contact with people in person, such as a home-based business where you are doing work virtually online, then you continue to avoid being exposed to interactions with other people. The problem is that when you choose jobs that have no interactions with people in person, then you continue to maintain your negative cycle of social phobia, as you are just really avoiding any social interactions with people, just as you have always have done. You think that by avoiding social interactions, that your anxiety will decrease. However, your anxiety is actually maintained and perpetuated by the avoidance, as the avoidance maintains your belief that people are making fun of you. And if you continue to think people are making fun of you, then you continue to have social anxiety and this reinforces your efforts to avoid people.

So over the long term, if you choose a job with no social interactions, then your social anxiety just gets worse. And if your social anxiety gets worse, then you may become disabled to the point where you can't even work virtually, from home.

The best way to earn a living if you have social anxiety is to first get help for your social phobia. Once your social phobia is dealt with, then you can find any job to make a living, even ones where you have interactions with other people.

answered Mar 11, 2016 by drcarlo (294,430 points)
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