Social Anxiety

Before I went to FenCon last month, I had a feeling of dread. I remembered this had happened before other cons, which is strange because I really enjoy cons. Then it occurred to me that I have this same feeling before Christmas. I put two and two together and realized I have this primal social anxiety response before I’m going to be around and interact with large groups of people.

It’s final proof, though sometimes I talk a lot, I’m really an introvert by nature.

In high school I often felt anxiety when in small groups, even with friends, but I was great one on one. Over the years I’ve shed most of my socially awkward proclivities. These days, I feel fairly competent and confident within groups (though not always perfectly comfortable).

I wonder if that feeling of dread will always be there. It reminds me of the time I swam across the shark tank and wasn’t scared until I actually moved across the water and saw a shark. Maybe it’s deep within my subconscious, in a place not easy to root out. Knowing these things happen to me won’t lessen the effects but perhaps will make it easier to get through them to the good stuff.

Delilah Rehm

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