How to Manage Social Anxiety at Work?

Social anxiety or the fear of being judged by others can be problematic in the workplace.

How to Manage Social Anxiety at Work?
How to Manage Social Anxiety at Work?
Badri Rickhi
October 22, 2023
Wellness in the Workplace

How to Manage Social Anxiety at Work?

Social anxiety or the fear of being judged by others can be problematic in the workplace. Fortunately, there’s a way!

If you suffer from this disorder, you can keep it in check. Several ways can help you enhance your social abilities.

Read on for more information about how to manage social anxiety at work. This article also tells you how to deal with other workplace issues such as toxicity, and narcissism.

How to Deal With Social Anxiety at Work?

Social anxiety means more than just being an introvert. It’s a mental disorder that leads the person to feel inferior and self-conscious.

If you have social anxiety, you’ll notice it peaks at work. That’s because you’re supposed to deal with unfamiliar people in many situations.

Six Signs You Suffer From Social Anxiety

Here are some clear signs that indicate your social anxiety disorder:

  1. Sweating excessively during meetings and social gatherings.
  2. Being exceedingly self-conscious.
  3. Avoiding certain people and situations.
  4. Showing nervousness physically in social situations through trembling hands, rapid heartbeats, nausea, and a dry mouth.
  5. Focusing more on how others judge you than on your job.
  6. Feeling insecure and afraid of making any mistake.

9 Tips to Handle Social Anxiety at Work

Getting over your social anxiety can be a challenge, especially because there’s no root cause to address. However, there are certain steps to take that have proven helpful, such as:

1. Conquer Your Fear

By definition, social anxiety entails being afraid of several things. If you really want to overcome this issue, we recommend that you face your fears.

For example, if you get anxious about ordering food or talking to strangers, you should initiate such encounters. Once you do them, you’ll know that they’re not as hard as you used to think. That way, you get a solid step toward healing.

2. Don’t Find Excuses

As a socially anxious person, you’ll always find yourself in search of excuses to avoid social gatherings or situations. Try not to fall for that.

Once you take the decision to manage your social anxiety, don’t accept any excuse from yourself. Take your chances and do everything you try to avoid. That would allow you to grow and gradually overcome your anxiety.

3. Embrace the Feeling of Discomfort

Don’t expect managing your social anxiety to be easy. It entails so much discomfort that you have to accept it in order to overcome your social anxiety.

If you feel uncomfortable and reluctant to take a step, remember that getting over your social anxiety can make a huge difference in your life. To have a calmer and healthier social life, you need to embrace the discomfort you face with your first attempts to face your fear. It’ll gradually fade.

4. Adjust Your Way of Thinking

Social anxiety is all in your head. Thus, changing your thoughts may help you deal with it. Adults with social anxiety usually think negatively about themselves and others. However, these thoughts often don’t have proof.

You may use a technique called cognitive restructuring to alter your way of thinking. You can do it in four simple steps:

1. Practice Social Encounters

Although it may sound a bit strange, it’s helpful to practice interaction beforehand. If you’ll participate in a meeting or deliver a business presentation, practice can make you a lot more comfortable.

Remember that you’re usually nervous because of the unfamiliar situation. Practice makes this social encounter familiar and breaks the spell.

2. Avoid Perfectionism

We’re all humans, so it’s OK to make mistakes. In fact, no one expects you to be perfect. With this in mind, you can accept your situation more and relieve your anxiety a little.

Set realistic expectations for yourself. That way, when you accomplish them, you feel more confident.

3. Distract Your Brain

Once you realize the problem, you can always trick your brain with a distraction. People with social anxiety usually get nervous in crowded rooms.

Your social anxiety usually takes up a large part of your day. Thus, this technique can manage to send it to the background, allowing you to focus on other things.

4. Reach Out

No matter how severe your social anxiety is, you don’t have to face it alone. Remember that you can always reach out to friends, family members, or even a therapist.

Sometimes, just talking about your fears makes them easier. More importantly, learn that other people may be facing the same trouble. Social anxiety isn’t an individual matter.

5. Relax

Social anxiety usually heightens at work. That’s mainly due to the job load and stress. That’s why, relaxation techniques and exercises can come in handy.

You can relax by meditation, breathing, or whatever works for you. The bottom line is you need to relax a bit to relieve anxiety in general.

How to Deal With Fatigue and Burnout at Work?

Fatigue and burnout is an emotional and physical distress that affects your ability to perform at work. It may be caused by work overload or unrealistic expectations.

3 Ways to Manage Fatigue and Burnout

Here are three ways to handle job fatigue and burnout to avoid its severe consequences:

1. Communicate

Try to communicate the problem with your supervisors. This can help you reschedule any overwhelming task or reach a satisfactory compromise.

Prioritize the tasks, and create a new schedule that suits your pace. Make sure that the new schedule is relaxed so that you don’t repeat the burnout cycle.

2. Seek Help

If you suffer from burnout, the most important thing is to remember that you’re not alone. Seek the help of your co-workers, friends, and family. At the very least, they can provide you with emotional support.

In addition, you can seek professional help if you feel the matter has gone out of hand. You should also take advantage of any resources available to support employees at your workplace.

3. Go Healthy

Prioritize your health. Sleeping and exercising can make your life a lot easier. They can take your mind off your work problems and help you cope better with stress.

Relax! Do yoga, Tai Chi, or meditation. They can help a lot with your burnout. In other words, give yourself some life out of work. Try not to think of work all day long.

How to Deal With a Toxic Boss?

Sometimes, you don’t feel comfortable dealing with your boss. They’re just not helping, but you can’t put your finger on it. Most probably, you’re dealing with a toxic boss.

5 Signs Your Boss Is Toxic

Keep an eye on these subtle signs of a toxic boss:

  • Interfering in every aspect of the job despite proving your capabilities.
  • Not listening to your feedback or suggestions.
  • Not showing any care for your career development.
  • Blaming everything on others and never admitting responsibility.
  • Setting unrealistic goals and blaming others for not achieving them.

5 Strategies to Handle Your Toxic Boss

Perhaps, quitting is the first thing that comes to your mind after a long and hectic workday under a toxic boss. However, that’s not always an option.

To take such a decision, you need to weigh your options. We recommend that you give yourself a chance to turn a bad situation in your favor.

Although dealing with a toxic boss can be a challenge, there are still ways to handle the situation. Here are some tips that may help you:

1. Make Friends

If your boss is toxic, odds are all your colleagues know it. Therefore, you should stick together. At least, you can find someone to talk to about your work-related issues.

In addition, having good people around you can make your day at work a little acceptable. Perhaps, if you join forces, the management can recognize the problem and try to solve it.

2. It’s Not Personal

Most probably, this toxic boss doesn’t mean you in particular. Thus, don’t take it personally. Instead, put all your effort into the job and don’t think of his/her toxicity.

If your toxic boss hinders your promotion, try to reach out to higher management to get the recognition you aspire to.

3. Don’t Believe Your Toxic Boss

Typically, a toxic boss will keep blaming you for everything, even when it’s not your fault. Thus, for your own well-being, don’t succumb to the feeling of guilt. It’s not your fault and you’ve done a good job. It’s just that you have an unappreciative boss.

More importantly, toxic bosses tend to have unrealistic expectations. Don’t fall for them. If you do your job and act professionally, don’t blame yourself for missing an unrealistic deadline.

4. Avoid Your Toxic Boss

Act as professionally as possible, and limit the relationship with your boss to the necessary exchanges. Don’t let his/her attitude affect your efficacy.

If you do your job right, you may be able to reduce the interaction with your boss to a minimum. The most important clue is to deliver results, as this is what would keep your toxic boss off your back.

5. Don’t Expect Your Boss to Change

Be realistic! Had that person been good to you before, there might be a chance of redemption. However, in most cases, a toxic boss has been that way all along. That’s why you shouldn’t expect him/her to change. Rather, try to deal with the situation.

All the strategies you may think of are to make the situation more bearable. However, nothing can really change the behavior of a toxic boss.

How to Deal With Narcissists at Work?

Narcissists appear like ideal co-workers at first. They know how to showcase their abilities and perhaps motivate others. That’s until you spot the patterns of narcissistic behavior they bring to the office.

Narcissists like to be appreciated. They believe they deserve the best, so they don’t mind stepping on anyone to reach their end.

10 Signs You’re Dealing With a Narcissist

Although it might take some time, there are tell-tale signs that you’re dealing with a narcissist at work:

  1. Narcissists take full credit for success but never accept criticism.
  2. They undermine other people’s achievements.
  3. They seek attention.
  4. Narcissistic people set themselves above others and demand special treatment.
  5. They believe they’re above the rules.
  6. They get jealous easily.
  7. Narcissists tend to gossip and badmouth others.
  8. They’re charismatic and overly confident about themselves.
  9. They constantly interrupt conversations, as they’re very self-absorbed.
  10. Narcissists take advantage of others.

4 Tactics to Manage Narcissists at Work

Fortunately, there are still ways to handle a narcissist at work. Whether it’s your boss or co-worker, follow these simple tactics to handle the pressure:

1. Set Clear Boundaries

Narcissists aren’t all bad; they’re just battling mental issues. Feel free to be friends with them, but learn how to set clear boundaries in order not to get caught in their fire.

Defining clear boundaries helps you avoid their attempts to manipulate you. The key here is to make these boundaries very clear. Remember that narcissists believe they’re above rules, so they’ll try to cross the line.

2. Avoid Gossip

Narcissist co-workers may use anything you say at the spur of the moment against you, so don’t engage in their gossip.

More importantly, don’t tell them any personal secrets. They’ll use your secrets to get closer to other co-workers, or perhaps the boss.

3. Don’t Fall for Their Schemes

Typically, narcissists will undermine any accomplishments made by others. If you spot jealousy, don’t fall into their trap. They’ll try to criticize you with a sarcastic remark to belittle your achievement.

Don’t get dragged into an encounter. Simply, stay calm and show them that their opinion doesn’t matter.

4. Ignore Their Behavior

Almost everything a narcissist does is meant to grab attention even if negatively. Don’t give them this pleasure.

Don’t argue with them when they talk about their grand accomplishments or try to set themselves above the rules. This can be hectic, time-consuming, and, above all, futile.


Social anxiety can pose problems for you at work. However, there are ways to keep it in control. So, how to manage social anxiety at work?

You can practice social encounters beforehand, reach out to family and friends, and find ways to relax.

The bottom line is that there’s nothing you can’t cope with at work if you choose to, from a toxic boss and a narcissistic co-worker to job burnout.

How to Manage Social Anxiety at Work?

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