Sunday, 14 December 2014

SOCIO-PHOBIA

Source: www.anxietywellness.org
Once upon a time, long long ago, Aristotle had said, 'Man (and woman) is a social animal. He can not live without society. If he does, he is either a beast, or God.'

Indeed, humans cannot live in solitude. They need family, friends, their social circles, a good work environment, and society at large. Without the concept of society, we humans would have been no better than wild animals, there would have been no social skills, no learnings, no knowledge sharing, no display of caring...no humanity. Man has learnt to develop relations with other men and women, not just for his own emotional, mental and physical needs, but also for sheer survival. To forge such relationships, he makes an effort to mingle with all social circles.

And yet, there are some people who absolutely avoid situations that require them to be in a crowd.

I was always a shy guy. I simply hated being amidst a group of people unless I knew at least two or three people who could keep me company. Till date, I avoid attending parties. Somehow, The fear of embarrassing myself or looking clumsy was so intense that I would try my best to excuse myself from social gatherings. The fear of not measuring up in comparison to others and of being judged, although they might seem irrational to an average person, are very real for some people, meaning that they can’t help but feel anxious.

Public speaking was something I always abhored. Fortunately for me, through school and college days, I did not encounter too many occasions where I had to speak to a crowd. To walk through hordes of humanity, stand up and face them, and then speak to them while they were all ears - that thought freaked me out. "Are they actually listening to me or are they simply waiting for me to fumble and give them some entertainment?", "Why are they staring at me? Am I a freak?"...thoughts like these flooded my head on the few occasions that I absolutely HAD to speak. It was still ok then though, since till then I managed to keep them short and sweet. But the fact that life's moments were about to get even more anxious in the future didn't dawn upon me till the time I enrolled myself for a management course.

"I'd like each of you to stand up and introduce yourselves properly. Not just your name and qualifications, a little bit about your hobbies, interests and future aspirations too.", our Institute's Director said on the very first day. To say I was stunned is an understatement. My sweaty palms and forehead made me more anxious than I already was.

I simply lost count of the number of times we were forced to speak. Debates, presentations, speeches happened on a daily basis. Although I absolutely sucked at public speaking, I think the sheer number of speaking encounters got me used to the grind. Also, since not many people ridiculed me, and many in fact tried to help me through it, I slowly gained confidence. I also discovered a few people like me and realised I was not alone. Today, although  I still have sweaty palms, I do manage to muster up some courage to speak, and I do a decent job. I can only get better.

The important thing is that my mission to combat my fear is on,and I'm at it.

Here's a Tamil video showing how Mountain Dew suggests you combat fear.



This post is written as an entry for the 'Rise above Fear' contest sponsored by Mountain Dew and Indiblogger. Check out the page https://www.facebook.com/mountaindewindia

6 comments:

  1. I thought I was reading about myself... But unfortunately for me this fear still exists :-( I wish I had Harry Potter's Cloak of Invisibility :'(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehehe.

      Oh, you're an introvert too? Woohoo! :)

      Delete
  2. I feel I am still the same socially demented person, I was years ago. I still get scared of crowd and the fear of being embarrassed almost always grips me.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I used to do a lot of public speaking in school... after after I started going to college, it somehow stopped. Now I do feel nervous at times. Nice to know that you have overcome your fears

    ReplyDelete

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