Mapelba, one of the blogs I awarded in my last post, has posed another question:

What scares you? What has scared you that you went and did anyway?

I couldn’t answer this as a comment on her blog, because my answer is too big, too all-encompassing. Because what scares me isn’t isolated incidents. I’m scared all the time, every day. I’m scared of every interaction with other people – except for my immediate family. Some interactions are more scary and some less so, but they all scare me and I do them anyway. Because I have no choice. Because behind the mask of a person who’s afraid of society is one who really, really wants to connect with people, someone who yearns to be sociable.

What am I scared of? I’m scared of being tongue-tied, of being unable to express myself properly, of being misunderstood, of doing the “wrong” thing. Most of all, I’m scared of their thoughts, worried they’ll think I’m strange, weird, not “normal.”

That’s the essence of social anxiety, but I’m not typical in that I have never avoided social interaction. I’ve always felt the fear and done it anyway. And despite the theories, it has never really got any easier. Perhaps I need to work at this more, to visit places like The Social Anxiety Parlor (Jon’s mum’s blog, which I also awarded in my last post). The thing that gets in my way when trying to work through the different methods is a failure to see my thoughts as anything but logical.

So that’s what I’m scared of. What are you scared of?

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