I don’t read The Onion, but wow this one is too good to pass up. Somebody over there really understands what it’s like:
…sources close to Gibula told reporters his perpetual anguish over his words and actions could not be more justified, as all of his missteps—ranging from minor lapses of politeness to his overall slightly disappointing career trajectory—are immediately perceived by those around him as evidence of his inadequacy as a human being.
“Tim’s the kind of guy who is forever second-guessing his behavior, as if the people in his life are constantly scrutinizing every single move he makes, and he’s completely correct about that—we are,” said Paula Ramirez, a coworker who admitted she can barely look at Gibula without a medley of his most embarrassing moments replaying in her head. “Anytime he’s been petrified at the thought of social interaction or obsessively reexamined something he’s said, his fears have been entirely reasonable, given our nonstop monitoring of his behavior.”
A few days ago, I screwed up at work, and this is exactly how I reacted, going into the downward spiral of embarrassment and beating myself up and extending this harsh judgement to my entire life.
In addition, hundreds of slight acquaintances who may have only encountered Gibula once or twice claimed they were able to draw clear conclusions about his entire personality from the fact that he….”
I’m cutting off the quote right there, because you can just supply whatever it is in your own life that you feel ashamed of and fear everyone else would reject you over.
As a matter of fact, I once came up with a rational response for those times that I fretted over encounters with “slight acquaintances”, or even complete strangers. It’s simple: 5 minutes from now, will that person even remember me? Almost always the answer will be No, even if the encounter was pretty bad.
Here’s another saying I once read: You wouldn’t worry so much about what people think of you if you knew how seldom they did. (I’ve seen this attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, yet Dr. Phil claims his father used to say it. Well, maybe Phil’s dad heard it from the first lady.)
(Realize that this is how shy people with low self-esteem go through the day, every day. It really sucks. That’s why social anxiety disorder and avoidant personality disorder are called disorders in the first place.)
The good news is that reading this story has gotten me out of the funk I’ve been in for the past few days. I feel more ready to get on with things and quit moping.
Go read the whole piece.
Hat Tip: The Social Phobic