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So, I'm making a career move. And the only person I talk to during the day is a collegue of mine and we have become good friends with a relationship built on trust. The friendship only exists at work - but thats OK since I wouldn't want it to exist outside there.

For some reason I felt compelled to tell this collegue how much the friendship has meant to me over the years and thanked them for showing me the same trust in return. This is where I received a response saying that I was being silly and not to worry about the friendship because we could always stay in touch by email. For some reason I don't think she got it, she doesn't realize how hard it is for me to gain friends and to get this level of trust back with someone will not come overnight. So I sent another email in reply and I think I offended her but suggesting that "...well I know its not a big deal to you, you will simply find someone else to talk to...." I think my problem is that my response suggests that she doesn't really value the friendship - I know this isn't true. I think I was just seeking out reassurance and needed to hear it. My problem ...not hers.

After this last email we haven't talked near as much and she seems more somber - which of course is exactly what I wanted to avoid since I will be leaving soon. So I called her out on it. She was shocked (saw it in her face) and then later that day went on to say that I made her uncomfortable and I pissed her off. That was Wednesday. Thrusday and Friday she called in sick. So the issue hasn't been addressed.

I've never told her about my social anxiety directly but I'm sure she recognizes it. What I need advice on is how do I deal with this? Should I tell her about my SA and explain that I sometimes have irrational thoughts and sometimes seek reassurance in abnormal ways because of it? I'm scared of how she will react. If I tell her should I tell her face to face? Should I write her another email explaining this? Would that freak her out more? Should I just let her tear a strip into me on Monday (I'm sure she will come back by then) and she is the type that would tell me off if need be. I've begun to write an email because I think I can explain better my reasons for exibiting what she may think of as "odd behavir" but I'm scared of how she will react and terrified that I've pissed her off so much that she will tell some of her other friends at work what a freak she thinks I am. What do you think I should do?

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Should I tell her about my SA and explain that I sometimes have irrational thoughts and sometimes seek reassurance in abnormal ways because of it?
yep

Should I write her another email explaining this?
yep

Would that freak her out more?
No, I don't think so, if you do it right. Have you tried putting yourself in your friend's shoes? My guess is that you just came over a bit intense. It would have been better to just accept her first reply to your email and not worry about it... I know, hind sight is always 20/20, but you can learn from this.

Tell her you're extra anxious because of starting your new job and you're worried about making friends there, but say you're going to try really hard to get on with your new colleagues. Say that yes, of course you can stay in touch through email and that'll be cool.

Oh, and congratulations on making a career move! So many people with SA struggle with having a meaningful career or evena job, so that's an extra-big achievement!
 
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