How Can You Tell If You Have Social Anxiety?

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 15.678% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

A Big-Name Author says, in a post, “If I blew you off, I didn’t do so intentionally. There are only two people I would have deliberately brushed off or ignored at this con, and happily, I didn’t run into either one.”
Another Big-Name Author says, in a comment, “There are only two people in SF I deliberately avoid.”
If you have social anxiety, you immediately go, “OH MY GOD, I’M ONE OF THOSE TWO PEOPLE.”  Even though you’ve had dinner with both of these people, and ran into both (albeit briefly) at that con, and didn’t feel blown off.  But still, stupidly, irrationally, you’re absolutely positive that something you’ve done or said in the interim has soured these two on you, and now you’re on their no-fly list, and who else did you offend this weekend?  What did you do?  And you start running through each conversation you had with everyone, scouring them for potential offense, positive that you’ve ruined your name forever and ever and ever.
Shut up brain.  Please.  For the sake of my sanity.  Shut up.


  1. Mishell Baker
    Sep 6, 2012

    *wan fist-bump of ashamed solidarity*

  2. Al Bogdan
    Sep 6, 2012

    Ha, ha! At Worldcons I tend to avoid “bothering” people I actually know fairly well because they’re pros. I figure they’re working and networking and wouldn’t want to talk to little old me. Later, I wonder if they were offended because I didn’t talk to them after their panel, but then assure myself that at least I didn’t embarrass myself by having said something stupid. But what about that friend that was too busy to hang out? Were they really too busy, or were they avoiding me? Ahhhh! Which groups at the bar can I approach because I’ve talked with so-and-so before, and which will are off limits because I’m not publishing enough? All these kinds of thought pass through my mind at cons. My subconscious is such an evil little masochist!
    Luckily, I have some really good friends and tend to meet enough new people at cons that make all of this go away for most of it. Time spent with a few good buddies overwhelms every sense of social awkwardness. It would be much worse to be a newbie without a posse again.
    And don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone what everyone was saying about you behind your back. ;-P
    Actually, I noticed that one sure way to get a ton of likes on Facebook is to post a photo of you and Gini!

  3. Chelsea
    Sep 6, 2012

    Yep. Me too.

  4. NC Narrator
    Sep 7, 2012

    Lord, how many times have I begged my brain to JUST. SHUT. UP. What is it about that quiet moment between awake and asleep that encourages the brain to trot out every perceived stupidity in a never-ending gag reel of social humiliation?

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