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Irrational Fears

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pyramid

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Why do we have irrational fears.

I seem to have an irrational fear of superiors at a workplace, i.e. bosses, before I have even met them and even when they are nice. (I did have a bad experience due to office politics where I was told to leave a temp job after 2 days but don''t know if it has to do with this fear or has just given me a bit lower confidence).

I am wondering why we have fears and they are real and we cannot get rid of them even though we tell ourselves we are just being stupid. I wonder if this stems from primary school where back in the day children looked up to teachers, however I never felt scared of a teacher.

I don''t know why I do this, but I even imagine the look on their face means something to do with me, when they are probably thinking about something else and I know it but still cannot get rid of this fear. I have read about social phobia etc, but don''t think it is that because it just seems to be a fear of bosses.

Anyone gone through similar or can help here.
 

Skippy123

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Do you get written reviews? Maybe stay on top of those and keep copies for yourself? I think most people have some fears and hopes that they are performing well and want good feedback. Maybe give yourself some positive self talk and list the positives about you; I think positive talk to yourself helps with confidence. Hugs and hope it gets better for you.
 

pyramid

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Thanks Skippy. No it is not really anything to do with my performance, I feel competent and as good as others in the workplace, that is why I wonder if it is to do with my confidence in my appearance, not that I am anything out of the ordinary.

The reason I am feeling this is so irrational is, I am starting a new job on Wednesday, and the person who will be the office manager is actually an old classmate and one who I once used to speak to a lot in lunch hours and breaks amongst a crowd of us. Now I have not seen her for years, she did not interview me or anything, it is a temporary job, I never fell out with her but I feel fear about meeting the new boss again in the way I have done with others. Now at school she was not anyone I looked up to just on the same level and was not particularly bright or good looking or stylish or anything. I feels sort of weird.

Maybe it is to do with my performance and confidence in it and I am locking this away but I think then I would worry about doing the tasks of the job and I don''t.

I read on a social anxiety site a scenario about someone worryng about a meeting with a boss a week ahead and then rumminating in what they said and felt they messed up. That would be me, I would worry about it a week ahead but I would not be worried about what I said after.
 

Skippy123

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Hmm, sounds like jitters maybe?? I remember when I was starting a job and since I am pretty friendly I introduced myself to a few of the new coworkers and then looked at one girl and realized I knew her from high school. I briefly got nervous and couldn't remember if we got along or not and what she thought of me for that split second (then I thought, I am probably worrying for nothing, she probably is thinking the same thing as me) actually we became friends afterward. I bet your friend might have the same fears; I guess go in there and be as positive as possible and things will workout! Sending you a hug and also sending you wonderful work vibes/thoughts. I understand how the first day and the thoughts of a new job can be stressful but it usually works out and try and focus on your other past positive work experiences and not the bad one. I think MOST people are nervous when they start a job so hang in there and a bunch of us are sending good work vibes your way!!
 

neatfreak

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Pyramid, it does sound like social anxiety. Look into Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques-it helps with all kinds of irrational thinking and anxiety based thoughts.
 

pyramid

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Thank you neatfreak, I will look into that. It is really like that because the anticipation feels worse, a lot worse, than actually being at the job, although I still have apprehension when speaking to a boss or when the boss is around. Maybe I will need to see a therapist or something.
 

Snicklefritz

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Oh Pyramid, I know how you feel, and I''m sure a lot of other people do. I''ve been there. The good thing is that you recognize that your fears are irrational. That''s the first step in combating them. And from what you''ve said, I don''t think what you''re experiencing is abnormal. The key is to pay attention to how much your fears inhibit your everyday functioning. If they don''t at all, then you''re fine. If you often feel preoccupied with the stress and anxiety that accompany these fears, then maybe you could look into the CBT techniques that neatfreak suggested, or consider seeing a therapist if you would like.
Actually, I think just airing your fears on PS is a great coping mechanism.

I don''t know the purpose of irrational fears, but I do know that my mind likes to trick me into self doubt sometimes. For me, I think it''s somewhat genetic. My dad is very much the same way. And then there are certainly the environmental factors that you mentioned (i.e. bad office politics experiences,etc). These types of experiences shape how we react to certain stressors.

Best of luck with the new job. I''m sure it won''t be half as bad as your thinking. In my experience, my fears never come to fruition.

 

Maisie

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I feel nervous when I go into a posh shop. No kidding. I am wearing a very expensive (for this area) diamond ring and I wear nice clothes, but I still feel worried that they won''t take me seriously. Crazy. I think its to do with us having very little money as kids and always looking badly dressed.

I have great trouble talking to people I don''t know. I either talk too fast and jumble my words, or I can''t think of something to say. Either way its embarrassing.

Pyramid, I completely understand how you feel and I would agree with Neats suggestion. Cognitive therapy is a great way to learn new ways to behave and think. My sister was terrified of wasps her whole life, she had cognitive therapy and now she isn''t bothered by them at all.

Your new boss will probably be wondering how things will be at work seeing as you know each other. She will probably try to maintain a professional distance. That will probably make you more relaxed anyway. Good luck sweetie!
 

pyramid

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Thank you Snicklefritz. Yes I feel airing this on Pricescope is good, both getting nice replies like this and to re-read them and also to re-read my own words saying I know it is irrational.

Yes, I think you are right about the genetics because I have that from my parents too.
 

pyramid

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Thanks Maisie. I never thought about the professional distance, yes that may help.

About the wasps, I never ever was afraid of them until I got stung in the foot and now I am wary of them, not scared or anything to worry about but I notice them around whereas I never bothered before. It is good that the cognitive therapy worked for her, yes I am reading about it on the internet now and will maybe see about it.
 

AmberGretchen

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pyramid - I think irrational fears are really common. I frequently get very nervous or scared about something, rationally or irrationally. The thing I have found that helps me the most is to mentally walk myself through a worst case scenario. So in the situation you describe, it would go something like this:

"So the boss might not like me. And what would that be like if they didn''t? Well, there''s a possibility they don''t like anyone new, and they will get to like me over time because I''m (insert positive attribute here - i.e. hard worker, quick learner, team player, etc...-something you are really proud of). And what if they don''t get to like me over time. Well, the worst that could happen is they keep not liking me, and then they either make my life miserable and/or they fire me. If they make my life miserable, I''ll just have to find another job (after all, I found this one, didn''t I?), and if they fire me, it will be the same thing. I''ll feel bad for a little while, but really that''s as bad is it will get, and I can totally handle that."

I think the basic idea is to remind yourself of your strengths, remind yourself of what you can''t control and of what you can, and focus on the positive, while de-mystifying the situation so it doesn''t seem as scary.
 

pyramid

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Thank you AmberGretchen. I am helped by your post and will try to do that. I never thought about the fact that maybe the bosses may not like meeting new employees too, I suppose it is normal when you are in charge of the work and want to make sure it is done properly to be hesitant about new employees. I suppose they could have irrational fears too.
 
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