I have always been one of those people who finds it hard to socialize. I recently learned from a great TED talk that introverts have energy taken from them when socialising and extroverts gain energy from being with people.
Therefore it makes sense for introverts and people who have the more serious but rarer social anxiety (fear of people), to avoid jobs where you have to interact often and do team work. For me teamwork is just the biggest turn off. In sales jobs team work building is a big thing. Great for extroverts but for me a nightmare.
So lets start with what I do:
There are a hundred plus things that you can do online. It means less contact with the real world and if you get into a situation like I am in, I almost never have to communicate with people other than by email.
This may sound like heaven but think about it, we are supposed to be social creatures. Therefore unless you are very happy being alone and have a supportive other half, be careful. You don’t want to be one of those overweight bachelors or spinsters who never leave their home and just order take out food all the time.
Working online is great but if you are single especially, make sure you get some human contact. This is easier said than done but I believe if you hide away and work online without a partner and ideally friends to socialise with, you will end up lonely and unhappy.
As a member of various organisations for introverts and those with social phobia, I find it baffling how many people are teachers. My Mum has some similarities with nervousness around others but she has been a happy teacher for many years. She started in primary schools, moved on to secondary school (apparently that was more stressful- sounds like my worst nightmare). Now she teaches smaller groups at an English language school in Manchester teaching IELTS courses.
Anyway this is not something I could ever do, despite numerous attempts from my Mum to get me to to it. However it seems to be a case of facing your fear, which I believe is a great way to overcome problems. I just couldn’t stand in front of a class of 20-30 kids.
Teaching can be done in many ways. My Mum taught from toddlers up to those getting ready for college. She also taught those with issue like dyslexia for a while and now simply teaches English. You can teach a subject you are interested in. You can teach around the world. It is seems to be a very flexible job when you consider the many options. So if you can see yourself doing it, certainly have a think. My Mum said her most rewarding moments were at the end of the school year when young children would do sweet things like say “thanks you are the best teacher” with a gift.
For a tea which has amazing health benefits for people with social anxiety, check out the recipe below: