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how do you handle networking and related anxiety?

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Stellar
Stellar Community member Posts: 131 Pioneering
edited March 2023 in Work and employment
see title. i have a lot of anxiety with netowrking and communicating with others in a professional / workplace context. i've had issues in the past struggling to communicate and understanding boundaries and i've been punished as a result.

i think part of my issues relate to the fact i don't really have a direction with networking. i find it so overwhelming that if i go to events i struggle to do anything and if i do make a connection struggle to maintain it.

i will need to tame this anxiety in order to go self employed and hence leave the uk. cause as it stands its terrified me and i've tried to avoid it but i'm not gonna have a choice but to confront it.

does anyone have any advice?

Comments

  • Cher_Alumni
    Cher_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,740 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi @Stellar

    I'm going to mark your post 'unanswered' now just so we can garner a few more replies. My initial thought relates to having someone who you admire in your field as a mentor. They would most likely see it as a huge compliment to be asked and having that other person help you navigate how to deal with difficult situations and boundary setting would provide an alternate perspective. Would this be something you'd be comfortable with?

    Also, you could research what tools others within your area use to keep connections going and productive. Allowing yourself some preparation time, and diarising space after events to process what happened and plan ahead will ensure you have time just to concentrate on that.

    Also, I wonder if you could expand on whether the anxiety relates to this aspect of your life solely or is more generalised to other areas? And if so, has it ever been discussed with a GP? 

    I hope this was slightly helpful! Take care and hope to speak again soon.
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  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,983 Disability Gamechanger
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    It seems like you have made the first step @Stellar in recognising why it causes anxiety. You have identified that it causes anxiety because you’ve been punished before as a result of struggling to communicate and understand boundaries.

    Is there anything, in particular, that might help you to communicate and understand boundaries? These sound key in enabling you to feel less anxious about the possibility of being punished. Quite often, I find it helpful if people can make boundaries explicit and my communication preferences taken into account. However, I acknowledge and value that the things which help vary for each of us.

    We are here to listen to you if you would like to talk this through. Similarly, you have mentioned struggling due to not really having a direction with networking. Can we ask you what a direction with networking would look like for you? (in an ideal world).

    With regard to maintaining connections, I feel like this applies across relationships. You can only put in so much, it has to work both ways. Also, you don’t have to constantly communicate to maintain the connection if you feel less comfortable with this.

    Please don’t hesitate to let us know if there’s anything we can do to help, even if that is just extending a listening ear as you navigate all of this :)

    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.
  • ADHDee
    ADHDee Community member Posts: 4 Listener
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    I could've written this myself @Stellar <3 I do loads of freelance work and if I don't keep networking I can't get clients but making those connections and then keeping them is probably the hardest thing for me

    I don't have much advice to give but the way I cope is just keeping at it as it's so much harder to restart a connection once I've let it fizzle out. Networking online is also so much easier than in person too
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,983 Disability Gamechanger
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    This is true too @ADHDee, I often find anything online easier than in person  :)
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.
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