“Tell me tell me why can’t I live my life without all the things that people say” – My Prerogative by Bobby Brown 1988. Fair warning I’m a huge music fan especially hip hop and 90s r&b so I will be throwing in lyrics from some of my favorite artists from time to time. Now back to today’s story.
I know I’m not the only one that has second guessed or questioned why they are the way they are. It’s natural, right? I mean I was always taught to question what I don’t understand. One thing I don’t understand is why I feel anxious in what would seem to be normal circumstances like meeting people. I have it really bad at times. I really hate orientations or networking sessions. Especially if I attend these type of events alone. I mean an actual emotion of fear can overtake me and I freeze. Fight or flight? Nope. Neither one kicks in. I’m just stuck and I don’t know what to do. Should I just fake it and act like everyone else or should I just kind of hide over here in the corner and hope no one notices me? Sidenote; most great actors are introverts. I play a role everyday. There’s the outgoing friendly Will on the outside (stage) and then there is the quiet more personal side of me on the inside. Constant struggle between the two sides. West side story all up in my head.
Anyway, I don’t understand it. Sometimes I want to actively be around others and engage and then at other times I want to sit on the side and blend into the background. I know for me being that energetic outgoing person is physically and mentally draining. I usually need a few days to recoup afterwards. Like, seriously. At least a few days to fill the tank up again. Is this an introvert related problem or just a problem? I have a hard time deciphering between the two. Everything can’t be related to being introverted can it? Can it?
This anxiety issue has been something that I have been working on for years. I do yoga, breathing techniques, visualizations and a bunch of other things to alter mind into thinking that everything is okay and not to panic. While I have been able to control it more over the years it is still an issue that I have to address often.
Like I said earlier, I want to start engaging with others more and networking and such. I think as I try and move into a more entrepreneurial position this networking thing will be key. I need to be able to go out there and shake hands and kiss the babies without having a panic attack. Plus I’m a bit of a germaphobe. Not really over the top with it but I definitely keep a little bottle of hand sanitizer with me and will whip it out after shaking a stranger’s hand with no problem. I don’t know where your hands have been or who else you’ve been touching. Did you wash your hands thoroughly after you used the bathroom? See I’m going off on a tear… Reeling it back in.
This “fear” has really taken a toll on my social life and I need to take control of it. Once I figure out the why, I can move forward with what, when and how to fix it.