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I got fired from a job a few years ago. I discussed it with the supervisor I had there. She said there were communication issues, that I needed to open up to people more, and that I should have made more of an effort to say "hi" to her boss. I'm pretty sure my social anxiety caused me problems.

Early last year I got another job. I made an effort to be social with people at first, but then my office got moved to the other side of the building, away from the people I worked for. For a while, things were fine as I would meet with my supervisor to discuss my assignments each week. Then she had to move and work remotely. Now because of it, her boss became my direct supervisor. He is very high up in the organization and can't meet with me regularly like she did. Plus, he is somewhat intimidating because of his high position. It's been awkward reporting to him since she left. Early this week, he called me in and said he was moving me from my private office to a cubicle that was closer to him because he feels "distant" from me. Now, I am having flashbacks to the previous jobs where I was told I wasn't sociable enough. I'd love to be "normal" and to have these issues stop following me around everywhere.

I'm just wondering if anybody else has been through anything similar or knows of a way to make it better. Thanks.
 

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I had a similar experience because it seemed that people expected me to be cheerful around them, like supervisors and coworkers. I was not unfriendly, but I was interested in getting my work done and that was all. To appear cheerful and smile felt like it was fake and I used to think people can detect fake...so what's the point? The outcome there was that my supervisor, in such and such behavior, indicated my attitude was not good enough. There was some subtle friction and I left for another job.

I've learned from experiences like that and I realize that the bare minimum that we need to do is to smile and say hi to people we work with. I think a half-smile is enough, and it needs to be sincere. We need to make a conscious effort to behave in a more upbeat mood when supervisors or bosses observe us. Try making small talk about work and then try making small talk about their lives. I think that would be a good start. What kinds of things would you want to do?
 
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I can relate, I started in a credit control job without a credit control supervisor as she'd been appointed a different position. That meant I was directly under the CFO :-S He was really intimidating, friendly enough but I had problems communicating with him because of his important title. He was also always busy and didn't give me adequate direction and such.

My advice is be proactive. Instead of having to be told what to do all the time, send emails/call and ask for assignments in person. This would indicate that you're keen to do the job. Also, I know it's horrid and mind-numbing but ask people how their weekend went/how their day's going. Throw a few smiles in there as well. Make an effort even if it feels like people aren't responding.
 

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pickles
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it would be nice if work actually cared about work and rewarding people for their work and not the amount of schmoozing they do. any place i'v ever worked has seemed this way (the latter)...no one cares if you get your work done and what quality, only who you "chat up" and "know" and are friendly with. Man I hate office work...wish I was capable of doing anything else...
 

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I am absolutely terrified of people who have a high position and have no idea how to deal with that.

Currently I am working for a government agency and believe me it is hell. We get 'important' people in all the time. They are also always such difficult people; as if they were born in a castle with a golden bottle of caviar juice in their bottle. You can feel right away that they think of themselves very highly as well. Besides my SAD, I also have a loathing towards those kinds of people.

I try to avoid these people at all costs; even if it means I will not get the job done or risk my position. But I do stay friendly and respectful, so I guess that's why they have not fired me yet. (plus I work really hard and do everyone else's job so I guess they are trying to tolerate my weirdness)
 
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