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I completely understand!

In fact, I had an incident at work yesterday where myself and two co-workers got pulled in (individually) to speak to both our managers who told us there had been complaints about how noisy we were being (I work in an open plan office). We have a good working relationship with our other co-workers and the others were annoyed that nobody had just asked us to be quieter instead of going to our managers. I, on the other hand, got really upset because I hadn't realised I was being annoying and maybe that means people in the office don't like me. It definitely means they were irritated by me.

The thing is, social anxiety isn't really anxiety about how people see us. It's anxiety about how WE THINK people see us. And you know what? We're hard on ourselves and usually wrong. There is a beautiful poem/story called "on being yourself" which talks about how, if you are an apple, you can try to be the best banana in the world, but you're always going to be a second-rate banana. Even though some people might not like apples, you're better off trying to be a first-rate apple than trying to be a whole fruit salad (ie please everyone). It's the hardest thing in the world to do, but letting go makes you so much happier.
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