If you struggle with crippling social anxiety, or to a lesser extent, if the thought of social interaction on a daily basis is exhausting to you – perhaps you should consider an alternative way to make money – internet marketing. In my opinion, internet marketing is actually one of the best jobs for people with social anxiety, or even just for people who prefer to be alone.
Now, let me be clear that I’m sharing this information as someone who actually suffers from social anxiety and earns a living from doing this, or more specifically affiliate marketing. If you’re curious about how I got started, feel free to check this company out.
Social Anxiety and its effects on employment
Did you know that those with social anxiety are more likely to be unemployed or underemployed than those with depression? A clinical psychologist at Brown University by the name of Ethan Moitra did a study comparing unemployment rates between those with depression, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, and other similar types of disorders. He found that those with social anxiety were more than twice as likely to be unemployed than the others.
While it is possible for some people to overcome social anxiety, it’s easier when treatment is done early. For those who have suffered for a long time, treatment may not help significantly. Even so, not everyone will always be willing to reach out for help. I truly believe that internet marketing is a fantastic career field for people who suffer from social anxiety disorder and cannot get adequate help. As an internet marketer, you have the freedom to create your own business with very little real-world interaction.
You can work from home or wherever you feel the most comfortable. Unlike a real-world business, you don’t have the in-person customer interaction. The ability to talk to your customers over the internet takes away most of the social stress. And if you go into affiliate sales, your actual sales and customer complaints are taken care of by the merchant, not you. It’s actually a perfect scenario for people who hate or intensely fear to interact with the real world.
My struggle with social anxiety and how it affected my career
Something I don’t like to talk about is my social anxiety. It’s something I have been quietly suffering from my entire life. Most people who know me or meet me just think I’m shy or very quiet, but the truth is, it goes so far beyond that. Unless you suffer from it yourself you really have no idea what I and many others with social anxiety disorder have to deal with on a daily basis.
Let’s Talk about Shy vs. Social Anxiety
Being shy and having social anxiety are similar, but are on entirely different levels. While there are quite varying degrees of social anxiety, even the mildest is above the point of simply being a bit shy.
Being shy is having a few butterflies in the tummy before meeting someone new, being a bit scared to make friends or speak up, or not liking being the center of attention. However, if those feelings are so intense they cause physical symptoms and get in the way of your life, it’s a sign you might have social anxiety. SA can make you fret over little things involving any form of social interaction for literally days, weeks, or sometimes even months before. Some people suffer so severely they have a hard time going out or interacting at all with others.
While my personal situation isn’t that serious, being involved or just thinking about certain social interactions can make me hot, sweaty and sick to my stomach. And still, I have to fight battles in my head every single day of my life.
I basically coasted my way through high school, college and all my past jobs with as little social interaction as possible, greatly hindering my ability to make connections and form relationships with my professors and supervisors. (These days I’m sure you know how important connections are when getting hired).
My situation was so bad I realized it had been nearly three years since I graduated college and I had nothing of importance to show for it…
I had hit a wall. I was letting my struggle with social anxiety take over my life, and I realized I had to do something. The whole career world out there was really hard for me to deal with, and I couldn’t keep working a crappy job forever. The bad economy made my already terrible situation just 10 times worse. Now not only was I struggling to try and be a normal person in the employment world, but the job market was also officially crap and even regular people who were friendly, outgoing and knew tons of people were having trouble finding a job. How was I going to ever compete with that?
That’s when I decided to try out online business
I thought about it for a long time and considered all sorts of possibilities, but then I had it. Everything is going online these days, I figured the internet was an excellent place to start making money, and best of all I could do it on my own. I spent countless hours researching and training myself how it all worked, I was absolutely determined to make it happen. I found an online training program and support community for internet marketers like no other place out there, and it did wonders to help me succeed.
I wish I had started this years ago because lord knows how much time I wasted.
I would love more than anything to be able to effortlessly interact with everyone around me, but unfortunately, I’ve been struggling with it from 27 years and I know it will never be something that comes easy for me. For me, the online business world was the perfect solution.
Are you interested more in learning and how to get started? Check out this educational platform and online business community that gave me my start. It’s amazing and I cannot give it enough praise. I went from knowing absolutely nothing about this field to earning a full-time income, and I believe anyone who has the determination can do it too.
Do you struggle from social anxiety? Have any questions or comments? I’d love to hear from you, so drop a reply down below or get in touch with me personally if you want, you can send me an email at email@example.com. I’m always willing to offer my help and support.
This is a brilliant article! My social anxiety is so bad that it’s lead to me having to quit college, but i’m hoping to start earning a living via internet marketing. Your post has given me hope, thank you.
Thank you Nina, I wish you the best. If you ever need a hand let me know.
Thank you for this article, it made me feel a little better. However, I do have some questions:
Something like two years ago (even less) I was diagnosed with GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and it made things more clear to understand.
Even now I’m struggling to accept this, as I feel like a failure and I worry A LOT. I’m 21, moved out when I was 18 and it’s something which is uncommon in my country just because of the fact that it’s hard being so young and living by yourself here.
That sparked a ton of problems I had thrown under the matt for years and thus my anxiety was discovered.
I’m very social online and also in real life. I have my group of friends that I love, I have no problem going to buy things on my own and now I can even say I no longer fear going to the mall by myself.
At work everything’s normal only for the fact that everything terrifies me. I dont feel like I belong, I dont feel like Im doing the right thing and above all people there make me freeze (like in any other job I had). I’m trying but I just think to myself everyday what job would be suitable for me to work regularly without worrying.
I’m yet to start college, hopefully next year I’ll go there but as for now I don’t have any degrees… just me and what I know now.
Do you perhaps know anything that could help? like ideas for jobs that dont require diplomas or socializing much? or how to cope at least? thank you very much and sorry for all this huge comment haha.
For the Premium Membership, is the monthly payment wanted at the 1st of the month or a month from when it’s first paid?
It’s a month from when you first paid.
You said that intenet marketing is ONE of the best jobs for people with SA. What would you say is the other best jobs? can you write off the expenses for internet marketing in taxes?
I would think any other job that didn’t involve a whole lot of people interaction would be better or at least less stressful, but it would still greatly vary depending on the level of anxiety and the individual. Truck Driver? Accountant? Writer? I just wrote this about internet marketing since it’s what I do, I have first hand experience. However I also have another seasonal job that is pretty good for the socially anxious, but it does require a college degree. I wrote an article about it here.
And yes, you can certainly write off all of the invested expenses on your taxes!
I just joined Wealthy Affiliate. I was wondering what affliate program they use? Like, where do the members get the products from if you’re not doing your own product? And is it worth it to get the Premium Membership? What particular things are in the Premium Membership exactly?
WA teaches you how to build an online business. The affiliate program(s) you chose to use are entirely independent from WA. Nearly every company has an affiliate program you can apply for and join for free – Amazon, Ebay, Walmart, Target… plus basically every other company. You’ll learn more about how it works as you go through the training.
I do think the premium membership is worth it – you get unlimited web hosting (which can run you $100+ per year on its own), unlimited free websites, awesome training, an included keyword tool (which is crucial and again… additional $$ on its own), and an awesome community of people willing to help you out: 24/7 live chat, classrooms, plus individual support from the owners!
You’re going to need to invest SOMEWHERE to build a business… and you won’t find a better deal or more awesome community.
I was researching and researcing this and I’m thinking of doing this, but I’m nervous. I’m curious, do you spend a lot of money on making this a success? Are you doing this as a career or do you have a job on the side?
I wouldn’t say I spend a lot of money in this. Probably per year I invest around $400 and definitely all worth it. I do this as a full time thing and do make enough money to support myself. I was nervous at first too, but the best advice I can give you is to just jump in and try. What’s the worst that could happen?
I’ve been struggling with social anxiety since I was 10. I’ve been getting better at coping with this disorder but it’s still a struggle. I’d like to have a career where I’m comfortable and don’t have to make myself do too much that I can’t handle. What do you invest your money on exactly? How much have you made this year so far and how much is made every month? When did you start exactly?
I mostly invested in training, help, web hosting (via Wealthy Affiliate) and domain names ($10 per year). Later on I invested in a few extra things(keyword tool, paid themes, autoresponder) but you don’t need to initially invest in a lot of “extra” stuff until you start actually making money. However, there is definitely base stuff you NEED – web hosting, domain name, training, support… which you can find within WA!
The amount I make every month varies, and without saying an exact figure I will tell you it is enough to support myself and 2-3x as much as I was making at my job prior to starting this. I started roughly a year and a half ago.
I am an artist who would like to work full time painting from home, but haven’t been able to sell enough paintings to make that happen yet. I don’t have social anxiety so much as social dislike. Working a low-paying retail job is just plain horrible, regardless of how comfortable you are being in public. I’m not very internet savvy though. Do you think there’s a way I could combine my art website with online marketing to increase the amount of money I can make online?
Yeah working a low paying retail job is horrible, whether you have SA or not. I have done it for years and it’s not only horrible in the fact you have to deal with customers on a daily basis, but also that you’re pretty much stuck at the bottom with a job that can’t even pay the bills. Who wants that for the rest of their life?
You don’t need to be internet savvy, but there certainly is a learning curve for starting out in marketing. Luckily there are great training programs like the one I stated above (Wealthy Affiliate) that will help you learn the basics and get started. You absolutely could use internet marketing in the art niche, but your question is a bit complex to answer and we should get in touch privately to discuss it further!
I was very shy growing up as a child and definitely relate to this article. I have grown out of that stage thank goodness. Internet marketing is perfect for the shy folks.
Yeah, some people are just shy when they’re young but grow out of it, others are more severely effected and it doesn’t go away so easily, and for some (like myself) it will always be a struggle and part of who they are.
But either way, whether you’re just shy or have SA, internet marketing is great. It’s not an easy “out” from a real world job–it may be hard work and take time to get to that point of being able to break away from another job, but at least when you do, it’s way less socially stressful and you can have a much better life.
I also extend that to holding true for anyone that doesn’t want to work a normal job, no matter what their reasoning is. It’s an awesome solution for all types of folks.
Yeah thank god for the internet, is has opened so many doors. Not just for me and you, but A LOT of people. Thanks for the comment and the good luck. 🙂
I sway between how exactly I would describe my personality type, sometimes I might say I’m just ‘reserved’, while other times I would say introvert-borderline-anxious, so I can totally relate to this post. The internet has opened up an entire world for those of us that don’t fit into the typical “LOOK AT ME” bro-type personality.
I feel a bit spoiled, not having to deal with coworkers and bosses every day. Though I dealt with it alright back in the day, I much prefer being able to choose my social interactions. This is totally possible online. I with you luck with your online business ventures, and I’m sure the post will resonate with many future virtual entrepreneurs.
social anxiety is a real problem with some folks. I know that my wife struggles with it whenever she needs to speak in public.
Unfortunately, as an itinerant professor she needs to occasionally get up if front of a crowd of students and lecture on a subject. Most of her interactions are one on one but there are times when a presentation is required. She has found hypnosis to be a valuable way to control her anxiety.
I went another way although I don’t really suffer from the same level as she does, I have found Marketing online to be a great way to make a living and the freedom to set my own hours has provided me with the time needed to make it in this world.
Hypnosis, really? Interesting. I would never think something like that would actually work!
Very true! While I do believe that social anxiety is something that needs to be confronted, a lack of money is. frankly, a more pressing matter. Not to mention-earning your own income with something YOU built will give anyone a huge surge in confidence!
Yeah Chip, it is something that I should confront at some point, but it’s hard for me to admit to others that I suffer from it. I think a lot of people don’t believe it’s even a real thing, so I’m worried of not being taken seriously. Building a business for myself online has really helped my confidence a lot and is great personal therapy for the time being. 🙂
Hi Wendy I can sort of relate to that because I had a girlfriend who suffered with the same symptoms and used to come out in cold sweats when faced with having to meet up with our friends. So I know how you are feeling.
If you don’t mind can I make a suggestion…sponsor the 300 affiliates you need for Las Vegas and lets all meet up there and have a good ole knees up, because we’re all kind of in the same boat as internet marketers.
We don’t have to mix with people we don’t like or who don’t like us, in my eyes we’ve got the perfect job and at least when we get to Vegas we are all one of a kind.
Lets give it a go.
Great post Wendy and insight to the world of people who suffer with SA.
Ahh yeah it’s rough to deal with. For me I am okay when dealing with friends and people I know, but I find it the worst when I have to deal with strangers and people in authority, which it what makes it such a struggle in the workplace for me.
Yes, I am aiming for those 300 and if I don’t make it this year I will next year. You’re right, it is the perfect job!