Social anxiety – Dog Abby

Dog Abby, advice from a Golden

Dog Abby,

I have been a member of a local fraternal lodge for several years. I was approached last week about running for president of the lodge. I have never been the leader of anything before, as I suffer from social anxiety. But I’m flattered and know I would do a good job if elected. What do you recommend I do to attack my anxiety?

Nervous in Needles

Dog Abby paw print

 

Dear Nervous,

Social anxiety has become more and more common, and mom says it has a lot to do with the interweb. I don’t like spiders much, either, but I can’t see how they would make you feel more frightened to go out and meet people. Spiders don’t like people, so you’re safe there. Maybe you should just stay away from the interwebs and go out to meet more people so you aren’t afraid.

Mom and I wrote a book about networking, and we’re working on one about making friends. Mom says it helps to know that everyone is on your side and that most people share the same fears, so you’re all in it together. She says to focus on the inclusion and the sameness, which I understand. I hang out with my cats because they like me, and I have a way of finding people who like dogs, too. If I approach someone who does not like dogs, then I find out right away and I know to stay away from them. It has nothing to do with me, so it doesn’t bother me — even though I am sad that the person is missing out on being friends with me, but I’m only sad for a little while because there are plenty of others who are my friends!

It sounds to me like these people are definitely dog people; I mean they like you and trust you enough to ask you to be the president. That’s really neat! Since they believe you will do a good job, and you say you will do a good job, then you will be an amazing president. Just get out there and be friendly.

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