I'm a social phobic, which generally means I hate going anywhere for the first time. As I sit here typing this, there are two events I'd like to attend. And, unfortunately there's this massive fear sitting inside of me that might prevent me from going to either one.
And it sucks. Especially now that I'm a single guy.
Social phobia has always been an obstacle to me making friends and it's always been a barrier in my relationships. I've been this way since I was a kid. I get so scared that people will automatically laugh at me or not want me to be around. I worry that my clothes aren't right. That I'll say the wrong thing. Will I run into someone I really don't want to see?
It's totally and utterly in my head and the product of my imagination, but that doesn't stop it from being a terrible burden for me. This fear becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and a fallacy that's absolutely hard to shake.
I cope by sticking to a routine. I've coped by taking jobs that have deliberate roles. I'm comfortable waiting tables. I'm comfortable going up to strangers when I'm a reporter. But, other than that? What role do I play to total strangers?
I went to the gym initially to smash through this fear, but it's going to take me doing more things that I don't ordinarily do in order to really get through it. As soon as I finish this e-mail, what will I do? Will I go to one of these events? Will I chicken out and go home and fail to make any new connections?
Even as I hit "publish post" I really don't know.