I haven’t posted in aaages, mostly because I’ve been bouncing between the two extremes of being either incredibly busy or amazingly lazy. Mostly busy. I got a (temporary) job, because I need funding for food over the summer, and instead of having the time to freak myself out about social anxiety like I’ve done with every other job I’ve ever had, I got called in straightaway and there was suddenly no time for that. Normally, they’ll show me how to do something, I’ll actually be able to do it, aaaand then Anxiety Brain takes over, and makes me acutely aware of the fact that I’m being observed, meaning we then instead have the awkward routine where I’ll fail to do whatever it is they’re teaching me to do, despite being able to do it, because somebody is watching me. However this job gave me no time for that, and while at first it meant that I felt like I might throw up, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise because apparently when I didn’t have the chance to talk myself out of something, I could actually do it. This place was so crazy busy that instead of having the time to teach me how they want me to do something, and then watching me do it, they threw me straight in and I picked it up on the go. Instead of thinking about something enough to freak myself out, I just went ahead and did it, and I really liked it. It turns out that this method works wonders against Anxiety Brain. Like with answering the phone: instead of “show me you know how to answer the phone our way” which leads to ‘oh no, they’re watching me do it, I know how to answer the phone but not when they’re watching me! oh my god it’s ringing and they’re just staring at me, pick it up pick it up pick it up’ suddenly forget how to hold a phone, ‘wait what do you say again’ suddenly forget how to speak English, ‘oh my god how do you say hello, wait what place am I working at again ohhhh I didn’t say anything for ages I just just hang up and pretend it was a wrong number’.
Instead of all that, the phone rang before I had a chance to do anything, and what d’you know, it turns out I CAN do things. I thought all this nervousness was really obvious to everybody else, but somebody told me recently that I actually come across as confidant.
This had never occurred to me. I thought my overbearing awkwardness was clear to everybody. I had about 2 seconds of thinking ‘ooh, that’s quite nice’ before Anxiety Brain kicked in like clockwork and it became ‘oh no, I thought everyone knew I was quiet because I’m shy, what if they thought I was just rude‘
Seriously, Anxiety Brain pisses me off more than anyone else. BUT. This job, whilst being really scary, turned out to be pretty great for me: better conversational skills, boost in confidence, managing to pass myself off as a regular human- the whole hog. I actually enjoyed myself too.
Anyways, that’s part 1 of what I’ve been doing, hope everyone’s having a good summer!