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I am a manager in government and I recently switched departments. My new department head is obsessed with meetings and includes as many new people as she can several times a week. This results in the dreaded let’s go around the room and introduced ourselves which for me is a source of extreme panic.

In the past in situations like this I have had to leave the room and recently I have been faking that my internet isn’t working so that I can leave the meeting during intros. The problem is that I have done this so often that there is no way the department head isn’t starting to clue in.

I don’t particularly mind being nervous about speaking - if it was just that I would forge ahead and be grateful it’s done. For me it turns into a full panic attack, my breathing goes crazy and there is no way I can speak. And now she is wanting me to speak more and more at meetings and I don’t know what to do. I am very good at my job, I love what I do but the dynamics here mean that I will be introducing myself a few times a week and I just can’t do it. In most places you have to do this once or twice but she has me doing is at least once a week.

I am feeling more and more depressed about it.
 

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The circle of death, I know it well! I never became comfortable with it, it feels like all eyes on you. It made me incredibly self-concious and it was like being caught in the headlights. I feel for you, hope someone can offer some advice.
At least you can be around people, there are plenty that can’t even do that.....
 
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