While most of us know the fear of public speaking, for a lot of people, the thoughts of running into a neighbour in the shops fills them with dread.
A listener recently sent this email into firstname.lastname@example.org
I am looking for any tips around getting nervous before work meetings, going to the shops and to a lesser extent meeting and talking to people especially when I am asked questions that relate to personal things for example ‘ How are the kids?’... I get a bit overwhelmed at times. Even, today on a Zoom meeting I was a bit nervy and this is while I’m sitting in my own comfortable kitchen.
The background to all this derived from a workplace bullying manager who completely demeaned and undermined me. I was slowly broken down and became extremely nervous going to work, sweating under my arms, even on the coldest days. I soon found it difficult to speak in front of my colleagues because when I did the manager would cut me off or speak over me. Any work I did was torn apart even though I know it was good.
Soon, I was getting nervous and overwhelmed in front of all adults and found it difficult to speak to anybody. The night I got nervous speaking to my wife was the night I knew I needed to do something about these fears. As luck would have, the bully manager left and our new manager is lovely. Foolishly, I thought everything would go back to normal but I soon realized that my inner voice would need a lot of work to reverse the damage that had been done.
Thankfully, I have made huge progress but I still find it difficult to get rid of the stories that build in my head before certain occasions- trip to the shop, meeting people I deem to be more self confident than me even though I know they are not and meeting/talking to people in positions of authority. I know these stories and feelings of nerves are totally unfounded but they do appear but to a lesser extent than they used too.
Thank you for making mindfulness and anxiety ‘normal’ and acceptable for men of all ages even ones in their mid forties.
We were joined by Fiona Brennan, clinical hypnotherapist and author of the best selling ‘The Positive Habit’ and soon to be released ‘The Self-Love Habit’ for a Mind Yourself Now special which looked at how you can overcome workplace bullying and feelings of general social anxiety.