Overcoming social anxiety as an adult


<p>I have noticed that there are some experienced and helpful parents posting on this forum so I would like to know if any of you can offer any advice that would help resolve the situation of my sister.</p>

<p>My sister lives in Poland and is a Polish citizen like me. She is 39 and is a sixth-year accountant in a small company that deals with architectural engineering and she hates her job. She works about 12 hours daily (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) because they do not want to hire anybody to help her with accounting. She also works on weekends at home when she has to. In February they cut salary of every employer in half. For her it meant she is now earning slightly more than $1.000 monthly BEFORE subtracting taxes. Her company is now relocating their office from CBD to city peripheries to cut costs farther. That means she will have 1-hour car drive to her job instead of a current 30-minute car drive. My parents have told her long time ago to drop this job and find a new one. There is a lot of job offers for accountants in Warsaw, a capital of Poland with some offering salaries as high as $45.000 for accountants with 5-year experience. However she says she is too old to relocate. In our city which is a major city in Poland there is currently only one job offer for an accountant. It is in a cinema for a salary similar to her current but at least it is in the CBD and she would have one other accountant to help her. She is unwilling to take this one either because she is afraid that her boss would give her bad recommendation after she leaves as there would not be an accountant left in the company. My parents have offered her to undertake MBA studies in UK or PhD program in economics until local economy gets better but she again says that she is too old for this. </p>

<p>She is single, lives with me and my parents whole life. She has currently no friends. I have heard her many times refusing to meet any of her former college friends on the phone. She only says "I can't meet you on {insert day of week}". I believe she was once invited to wedding when I was still about 12 and she refused to come also. </p>

<p>My parents and I believe that it is some kind of social phobia holding her from farther steps in life. She refuses to meet a doctor/therapist about it, she simply states that she does not have time and doctors/therapists don't help but only prescribe you more and more drugs. When my mother asks her to call her old college friends and arrange a meeting she again repeats she does not have time or that she simply does not want to without giving any reason even when asked. She has likely very low self-esteem.</p>

<p>Does anybody have similar experience? Is there any way me or my parents can help?</p>

<p>Thanks for any suggestions.</p>

<p>It’s very difficult to help someone who refuses to help herself in any way. Your sister sounds depressed. Would she read any books on depression and anxiety as a way to open her mind to her situation?</p>

<p>Seems like a good idea. Do you have any suggestion about particular books?</p>

<p>I have a very close friend with social anxiety and she goes through ups and downs. I have learned that supporting her, helping her build confidence and taking baby steps seem to help the most.</p>

<p>I’m not sure if your sister feels the same, but for my friend, it is much easier for her to be out in strangers, because she doesn’t have to engage in conversation as much. She feels like the world is full of people that are either full of themselves or just plain rude. ( While I sometimes agree with her…I try to get her to see the positive and help her not be quite so thin skinned. ) She feels at a loss during conversations because she can’t say what she is usually thinking or doesn’t care what people are talking about she says. That is hard for me to understand, but I just keep trying to put myself in her shoes.</p>