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Phobias can take many forms. I'm using the term "phobia" loosely, of course, since I'm not even much of an armchair psychologist. But- ask people for something they're intensely afraid of, and the replies will often vary in ways that can give you an insight into how they think, and how that made them approach the question.

So some people are afraid of spiders, snakes, wasps (me), stinging nettles (also me, history) etc. and would say that. But other people would give answers like: going insane, being alone, being worthless... more introspective answers?

Anyway, this preludes what I was actually thinking about just now. What am I most afraid of? Yeah, there are things I don't like, but I don't tend to have intense problems with physical things like snakes etc. But for some social things, I'm afraid of them enough that I've to some extent tried to arrange my life so they don't occur- is that a reliable sign?

And what is it? Basically, I really really hate being laughed at. Sounds odd? Well, it's a summary- expand on it a bit too. It extends to things like being thought of as a faker, or a creep etc... I tend to massively over-correct against possibilities like that. And I avoid being the centre of attention wherever possible. (Watch me speak to a bunch of people on any subject other that what I do at work- I'll be shitting myself).

But some of the side-effects of being like this are regrettable. Simple things involve smacking through an internal wall and become ridiculously stressful. And then begins a frustration -> jealousy -> depression -> badness cycle.

Hmm, maybe this introspection is an after-effect of coping smokiously last night.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 3rd, 2001 02:49 pm (UTC)
Hmm I try and avoid any situation which involves handwriting for similar reasons.

Talking to groups of people I can do... I don't intentionally become the centre of attention.. you'll notice I often end up looking like a twat... usually down to drunkeness... your approach seems perfectly reasonable... perhaps I should take a leaf from your book! :)

Sep. 4th, 2001 01:14 am (UTC)
This sounds eerily familiar..
I have real problems meeting new people, but luckily I can usually drag Liz along with me for moral support. Unfortunately that sometimes means that we sit and talk to each other without actually meeting anyone new.
It may be worth having a word with your GP to ask about counseling if it's becoming a problem. I recently had problems with anxiety attacks when travelling - they got so bad that I called in sick a few times to avoid travelling to meetings at work! Anyhow, I've had a bit counselling and I'm now a lot better, despite the odd relapse....
Also, catch me on IRC and I'll recommend a good book for helping with social anxiety/phobias etc.

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


Steve Haslam

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