Reply To: I feel like I am being excluded at work

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Penny Williams

I hear two potential things going on:

1. Social anxiety: “I’m actually trying to work on being more social. In the past, I had a tendency to just hide myself away and not socialize much outside of the necessary stuff I had to do for work because I was too afraid of accidentally offending someone or talking to much about myself, etc.”

I have it myself and it can be brutal. It does make us pretty paranoid about what others are thinking of us. Good for you for trying to be more social!

In my experience, people with social anxiety are seen by outsiders (those who don’t know they have anxiety) as stuck-up or standoffish. Years into our marriage, my husband actually told me he thought I was a snotty b*%&h when he met me, because my being very self-protective and reserved translates to outsiders that way. Then, they don’t include you because they assume you don’t want to be included.

You’re Not Shy or Stuck Up. You Have Social Anxiety Disorder.


2. Rejection sensitivity, which is common with ADHD and can cause you to see rejection where it isn’t.

How ADHD Ignites Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria

ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism