Social Anxiety, anyone? We have a birthday party to attend this evening, where I know almost no one. Okay, I know a few of the people by sight, but I only really know one person from Rick’s office. I am getting to know another one of the ladies, who I refer to as Rick’s “work-wife” (yes, I know this is not such a popular phrase, and a lot of people are threatened by it) since I know she keeps him out of trouble. I’ve had the opportunity to have two relatively long visits with her, and feel like am getting to know her, and she’s been a big help to us in recent months. She and her husband dog sat for us while we were out of town, and last week when Rick needed to come rescue me she stopped at my house on her way home from work and let Rory out to go potty. Rick trusts her with our dog AND our house key. I like her, she’s very friendly and cheerful, but I don’t really know her yet. There will possibly be one other lady that I know at the party, whom I know well, but that’s a big maybe. So, I’m already freaking out. What do I wear? How am I going to do my hair? What will people think of me? Are they going to judge me based on my size? That’s always one of my first thoughts. I know I should care what people think of me, and I know that I’m nice and fun…but the anxiety is always there. I am always uncomfortable with new people, and new situations. The plus side is that the Hubby will be with me, and I use him as a shield. He knows that’s one of his jobs, and he is okay with that. He also occasionally pushes me out of my comfort zone. He will actually separate himself from me after a few minutes at the party, so that I have to mingle, and deal with folks one on one.
So how do I prepare? First, I very carefully pick out my outfit, one that I can wear the “good boobs day” bra with. You know the kind…we all have them, don’t we ladies? I’ll make sure my underpinnings all match. I don’t know why. It’s not like anyone will know, except me. I’ll put on make-up and jewelry. I’ll wear my contacts. For me it’s like putting on my armor. It protects me. It puts a layer between me and those people I don’t know, who don’t know me, who may not know how funny I am, or how crass, or how inappropriate I can be….How about you? How do you combat social anxiety? Do you experience it? What’s your defense?