📅 Thought for today:

‘Social acceptance, “being liked,” has so much power because it holds the feelings of loneliness at bay.’

— Rollo May

#thoughtfortoday #socialanxiety #acceptance #empathy #compassion #loneliness #psychotherapy

Rollo May was an inspirational psychologist, and his name is often found alongside other major figures such as Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers and Irvin Yalom (all of whom have had a significant influence on me).

In The Courage to Create, his 1975 book, he asked, “…that people break the pattern in their life and face their fears to reach their full potential.”

As my clients start welcoming each other back into offices, in many cases meeting up with people they have never met before, social anxiety and “office anxiety” seem to be combining to create a real sense of fear and dread about the return to close quarters.

It is too soon to truly understand the psychological impact of a longer period of lockdown and isolation, or what the benefits and detriments of working from home really are.

All I can say is that I have seen an increase in social anxiety and stress-related directly to the return to an office environment.

Whilst some have dismissed this as a minor inconvenience, I do not. It is a real and present issue for some people that they will have to work hard to overcome. We can help them by being understanding, accepting of their experience, and not being so hasty to dismiss it whilst saying “well I don’t have a problem”.

Compassion, acceptance, empathy and understanding will be needed for many months to come and possibly years.

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