Does social anxiety cause unemployment?

Does social anxiety cause unemployment?

Research indicates that social anxiety has a substantial negative impact on an individual employment and occupational functioning.

Individuals with social anxiety might face a various number of difficulties in the workplace.

These might include difficulties in forming a cordial relationship with coworkers, ability to speak openly to their managers, hesitations in attending social meetings, inability to speak up in important events, ability to form a professional relationship with other partner companies, and decreased confidence.

All these factors put an individual at an increased risk of unemployment. Prolonged unemployment might in turn cause negative impressions on an individual’s mind.

What is social anxiety? 

Individuals experiencing social anxiety might feel uncomfortable being in social situations to an extent that it hampers their daily functioning, it’s sometimes referred to as a social phobia. 

Individuals consider public spaces as potential spaces of humiliation and embarrassment. Social anxiety affects how a person Interact with the world around them. 

Social anxiety can be differentiated from shyness. In that shyness does not affect an individual’s daily life and functioning, moreover shyness is short-lived. 

On the other hand, social anxiety is persistent and negatively impacts various aspects of an individual’s life like their ability to work productively or even develop or maintain close bonds with people outside their family. 

What are the symptoms of social anxiety? 

The symptoms of social anxiety can be both physical and psychological. 

The most significant physical symptoms of social anxiety are: 

• Nausea

• Excessive sweating

• Shaking or trembling

• Lightheadedness or feeling dizzy

• Increased heart rate

The psychological symptoms that individual experiences during a social anxiety attack are: 

• Excessive and intensive worry about the social situation

• Worrying days or even weeks ahead of an important social event 

• Trying to camouflage themselves in the background all we need to avoid the social situation on a whole

• The need for intoxication to face a social situation

• The constant worry of being observed by other people

• To avoid social contact an individual might also miss out on school or work.

In addition to these individuals with social anxiety may avoid social interactions such as asking another person a question when in doubt, potential job interviews, shopping call mom using public services like transport or washrooms, carrying out activities in public such as speaking or even eating in that matter. 

How to kill social anxiety using self-help techniques?

Lifestyle changes 

Apart from therapy and medication what works best to manage social anxiety is certain lifestyle changes. These may include: 

• Regular exercises

• Having a balanced diet, 

• Socializing and talking to people about their anxiety,

• Journal writing to express and understand one’s feelings and 

• Avoiding alcohol or drugs.

Take control of your breathing

It is normal for anxiety to bring about changes in your body, for instance, increased breathing. these changes often make an individual feel uncomfortable.

One can take control of this discomfort by carrying out a few simple steps such as holding one’s breath for two seconds and slowly letting it out through their mouth. 

Repeating this step several times until one feels relaxed. This is most effective when one sits down in a comfortable position with their back straight.

Carry out progressive muscle relaxation

Research indicates that certain activities such as walking, or jogging can help in killing anxiety. Another effective technique to kill anxiety is progressive muscle relaxation.

Progressive muscle relaxation involves flexing and releasing a group of muscles in one’s body which helps to maintain their attention on the feelings of this contraction and relaxation.

Prepare ahead of situations

It is best advised that people who experience social anxiety must plan ahead of these situations that make them nervous to increase their confidence.

Start small

to kill social anxiety people must start small. In that individuals must avoid big social situations and start with the situation that they are compatible with.

For instance, one can start by going for lunch with friends and family members rather than with a set of individuals that they’re not familiar or confident with.

Push back negative thoughts

One very effective way to kill social anxiety is to focus and work on one’s negative thoughts actively. 

Think about the negative thoughts that one has about a particular situation and write them down. Following which the person is required to write down positive thoughts that challenge the negative ones.

Sensory awareness

One’s senses can help them calm down while they feel anxious in any situation. For some people trying to look at photographs that give them a sense of happiness or using a particular scent that can help to distract them from the negative thoughts and reconnect with more positive ones can help to kill the anxiety at the moment.

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

How to kill social anxiety using other methods? 

Like other physical conditions, even social anxiety has different approaches for its management and treatment. Some people might only need a single type of treatment while others might require a combination of approaches.

Some of the ways to manage or treat social anxiety disorders are: 

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps an individual to control their anxiety by using strategies like relaxation and breathing. It works on the principles of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. 

Exposure therapy

Exposure therapy is a kind of therapy in which an individual is exposed to a particular situation that they usually fear in a graded manner. 

It usually starts with exposing the individual to a situation that is least triggering when the individual gets comfortable with this situation introduced or exposed to them with each session individuals become comfortable with a real-life situation that is otherwise anxiety-provoking. 

Group therapy

As the name suggests group therapy usually involves two or more individuals who are experiencing similar symptoms and problems. 

It is based on the principle that when an individual interacts with other people who are suffering from the same condition or fears they might not feel left alone or isolated. 

This kind of therapy also helps in developing and maintaining social skills or techniques to interact with people in other social settings.

 Prescribed medication 

Social anxiety can also be treated with the help of medication prescribed by a health professional. There are different types of anxiety medications each with its benefits and side effects. 

What are the tips to find a job when you have social anxiety? 

Individuals with social anxiety who experience unemployment and are looking out for a job can keep some tips in mind to successfully find a job: 

Lack of judgment

People need to realize that it’s not the other people who are judging them but they who are actively taking part in the process of judgment. individuals might make judgments about themselves based on their capabilities, skills, and expertise which stops them from taking up risks for new jobs.

Don’t expect to please everyone

It is unrealistic for an individual to apply for a job with the thought pattern of impressing another individual. An individual must accept themselves the way they are and present the same.

Count on your positive traits

Focusing on one’s strengths and skills is very important for an individual to work on their confidence and self-esteem. These are two things that helped overcome social anxiety.

Gradual exposure

If an individual has been unemployed for a long time they might feel more uncomfortable taking up a new job. However, an individual must expose themselves to the social situations involving the work atmosphere. This helps to avoid the overwhelming feelings that an individual might feel on their first day at work after a long break.

Learn to accept failure

many times individuals experience increased levels of anxiety due to rejection or failure at an interview. An individual needs to understand that failure and rejection are an integral part of an individual’s life and that they have to deal with it positively rather than taking it upon themselves and playing blame games.


According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), approximately 15 million American adults experience a social anxiety disorder. The onset of which can be seen as early as 13 years of age. 

Social anxiety can disrupt one’s normal functioning and cause significant distress. One such area that social anxiety might drastically impact is an individual’s employment.

many individuals who have social anxiety might face various difficulties in their work such as the inability to form a cordial relationship with coworkers, the ability to speak up in meetings, and forming social networks important for maintaining a healthy professional relationship.

all these factors put an individual at an increased risk of losing their jobs. Many individuals with social anxiety experience unemployment for a prolonged period.

People must take active precautions and steps to tackle this social anxiety that leads to life-altering unemployment.

Individuals can carry out self-help techniques or even other therapy methods with the assistance of mental health professionals to deal with social anxiety.

What we recommend for curbing Anxiety

Below are some of the services and products we recommend for anxiety

Online Therapy

  • Online therapy is another thing we should all try. We highly recommend Online therapy with a provider who not only provides therapy but a complete mental health toolbox to help your wellness.

Anxiety Weighted Blankets

  • Anxiety Weighted Blankets are by far the number 1 thing every person who suffers from anxiety should at least try. Anxiety Blankets may improve your sleep, allow you to fall asleep faster and you can even carry them around when chilling at home.

Light Therapy

  • Amber light therapy from Amber lights could increase the melatonin production in your body and help you sleep better at night.  An Amber light lamp helps reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep and increases overall sleep quality.

Frequently asked questions 

How can social anxiety stop you from working?

It is well known that social anxiety can cause problems in terms of employment for an individual experiencing it. Going to job interviews and giving an optimal performance in a work environment can be very difficult for an individual with social anxiety.

Some individuals with social anxiety manage to keep their job but struggle daily.

How does social anxiety affect employment?

People with social anxiety face various problems in the workspace such as the inability to form social networks, attend social events, carry out cordial relationships with coworkers, difficulties speaking up in important meetings, and lacking a sense of confidence.

All these factors affected individuals’ overall performance in the work environment putting them at risk of losing their jobs.

What’s a good job option for someone with social anxiety?

It is believed that individuals with social anxiety can explore areas that involve working with animals as it requires a very limited amount of social interaction.

It is also believed that interacting with animals can be therapeutic for many individuals this can also apply to individuals with social anxiety.

How do I get a job with social anxiety?

Individuals can adopt some ways to get a job despite having social anxiety some of these are:

  • actively practice mindfulness
  • carry out role plays involving interviews
  • develop a healthy coping mechanism
  • try to match the needs and demands of one’s job with their abilities
  • carry out positive affirmations
  • take small steps towards reducing the number of triggers in a social setting
  • Prepare for ones interview overtime keeping in mind the challenges

Is social anxiety a disorder?

Anxiety disorders such as social anxiety fall under the umbrella of a disability.