I wouldn’t say I have social anxiety disorder. I’m an introvert and going out to parties, and social situations exhaust me, but I would never say I have a disorder. Usually, when I feel like doing these things, I have a great time but am always ready to be home again. However, I have an event coming up this weekend, and I feel absolutely sick about it. I wouldn’t be lying if I said I was so anxious about it that I was considering hiding in a park somewhere rather than actually showing up.
The social anxiety institute lists the following symptoms for social anxiety disorder:
People with social anxiety disorder usually experience significant emotional distress in the following situations:
Being introduced to other people
Being teased or criticized
Being the center of attention
Being watched while doing something
Meeting people in authority (“important people”)
Most social encounters, especially with strangers
Going around the room (or table) in a circle and having to say something
Interpersonal relationships, whether friendships or romantic
So all these fit for me except for the first and last. And, btw, who would be okay with the second? Are there really people who don’t mind being teased or criticized?
Anyway, I know I need to do events like this to promote myself as an author and my books. But the thought of being with no one I know and chatting with strangers all day makes me feel physically ill.
I’m afraid I’ll look ugly.
I’m afraid I’ll say stupid things. Enter too many umms and uhs. Stumble over what I want to say. Basically, I’ll look like a big fat idiot.
Also, while I always got good grades in school, never got less than As in all my math classes, dealing with money makes me feel sick. Will I give the wrong change and appear to be an idiot? Will I fumble with using my square reader?
Ugh, I’m going to be a complete douche bonnet. I just know it.
One good thing about me is my imagination. It allows me to travel to other worlds and write them down.
One bad thing about me is my imagination. Every time I imagine myself dealing with anyone, I imagine out all the worst things that can happen and all the awkward and stupid things I’ll do.
*Muttering* I can do this.
I can be brave. I’m going to be brave. I’m going to fake confidence and hold my chin up.
Does it matter if I’m the only one who knows how terrified I am inside?