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08/22/2010 05:59 PM

Volunteerism?

ShinyRainbow
ShinyRainbow  
Posts: 11
Member

I work for a company that is big on volunteerism. And it's great because I get paid to do things out side of work.

I've also realized that volunteering is a good way to challenge myself to social situations I would otherwise avoid. I'm pretty lazy - if I don't want to do it, it ain't getting done. When I volunteer, people are so nice to me. They really give me confidence to over come the intense feelings I have.

Last week I volunteered at a place that did therapeutic horseback riding. It was probably the most difficult event I have done because I worked with autistic children and was expected to know how to interact with them.

I have no clue if tricking myself into social interactions if going to make the anxiety better, but does anyone else know any good ideas for how to help ease oneself into it?

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08/23/2010 08:57 AM
sharone
sharone  
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Totally agree that volunteering offers great benefits...for those w/or w/o SA.

How to ease onesself into it? I'd plan time ahead to relax and gather your thoughts. Talk with someone in charge of the program/contact person before you go so you have an idea of what the program is about/maybe an idea of what they expect from you.

But, keep in mind, too, that you're a volunteer. If you come with restrictions, voice them. Do this in advance. But, most organizations will be glad you just show up. Some will tell you they can't find a spot but by far, the vast majority will be glad you're there!


08/23/2010 10:00 AM
vickiem1124
vickiem1124  
Posts: 1947
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yep volunteering is great and just starting out slow I for one noticed that I have been negative and in need of taking a different view of my latest project

09/05/2010 07:35 PM
TimArends
TimArendsPosts: 66
Member

Congratulations on pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.

You work at a company that is big on volunteerism, but nobody should be pushed into volunteering. This was a big issue with Ayn Rand and the Ayn Rand Institute. They point out that if somebody is coerced into volunteering, it is not really volunteering, is it?

However, as long as it's voluntary, or you're not pushed into volunteering in a field you're not interested in, it's all good.

As for working with autistic children, that does indeed sound like one of the harder places to start out in if you're not extremely outgoing.

I do agree that volunteering can be good for learning to reduce shyness and social anxiety.

My favorite technique for easing social anxiety is to make a list of the situations that make you anxious, and arrange them in order from easiest to hardest. Then try to tackle one situation on your list a day, working your way down the list at a rate that is comfortable for you.

Good luck!


09/06/2010 03:22 AM
sharone
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Cool approach, Tim!

09/14/2010 07:55 PM
ohfaithful

Thanks for the tip Tim... That list sounds like something I certainly need to work on!

Anyone have any small places to start regarding volunteerism???

Faith Wink

Post edited by: ohfaithful, at: 09/14/2010 07:56 PM


09/15/2010 07:58 AM
sharone
sharone  
Posts: 3449
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Even just getting out and greeting neighbors can land you in helpful situations, Faith. When I go to the grocery store, I'll see older folks in the aisles who just need help reaching or reading something or locating an item. Small gestures but very meaningful. That's informal/noncommittal type of giving. If you want something less committed but w/structure...you could go to one habit for humanity house raising and just help them w/cleanup. Or you could volunteer for river/park or road cleanup in your community. Then other committed, longer term volunteerism exists...blood banks and hospitals...nursing homes are always in need...humane society may need dog-walkers...the local food banks need folks to serve food/distribute food/organize it. Just some suggestions. I always liked working in womens resource organizations. Those issues are dear to my heart. Smile

09/15/2010 07:20 PM
ohfaithful

Thanks Sharone!

The nursing home sounds promising...maybe I could read to someone or something...will certainly put it down to call someone about that next week. Also I like the women's resource center idea as well. I'm also thinking about doing something with mental health services in my area.

Faith Wink


09/16/2010 01:36 AM
sharone
sharone  
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Anyone of those are really good matches for you, it sounds like, Faith! See what's most in need and they'll feel lucky to have you!

09/17/2010 01:08 PM
ohfaithful

Thanks Sharone! I'm excited about the possibilities!

Faith Wink

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