Welcome. My experience is the exact opposite of yours. Childhood was miserable because I was stuck in a system and constantly around people at school and had little control over my life. Now is much better because I don't have a traditional job, can choose when I'm around people, and can make everything up as I go (sleeping and eating different times every day, etc). It's much easier to deal with people when I can choose how and when it happens. Falling out of the system was the best thing to ever happen to me.

Some people need structure, some people need to get rid of structure. These are different personality types, and we should avoid making generalized assumptions about what's best for others based on a sample size of one. I do agree that social anxiety is situational, though.
Last edited:
To continue on, I can agree with Hoth that working at a job is not the only way in which a person can expose their social anxiety to social situations and the public, as there are other methods in which a person can remain more confident and self-secure. Such things would include activities, personal time socializing amongst company, whether family or friends, or just putting a lot of concentration into any specific hobby of interests that the person may possess. Anything that can make us feel more confident can lessen feelings of social anxiety.

Eventually you have to face whatever set of fears you're going to need to overcome to be happy -- and that set will vary from person to person.

Taking time off doesn't necessarily hurt either, though. I just went a year with almost zero socializing thanks to living/working alone during the pandemic, and surprisingly it wasn't that bad, and I was fine when I went to my first meetup in a year on Sunday.

I think what matters most is maintaining intentionality: if you're choosing to take a break to rest (or choosing to be responsible in a pandemic), then you can maintain the right mindset and not deteriorate. But if you're just running scared and feel you have no choice, it'll validate and amplify your fears and make it ever harder to re-integrate. So you have to identify which of your fears are important to overcome (versus which ones you can negate by not getting into those situations), and then determine how much you need to challenge yourself on those fears to keep them from growing.