Anxiety of Speech

Posted on Thursday, April 14, 2011 by Alex R. Cronk-Young

From a young age I was conditioned to be wary of putting myself out there. I never had very high self-esteem and when I stuck my neck out there to say something or make a joke I was either cut down by my father or mocked by my brother.

In my mind everything is magnified a thousand times. When I jump out there and make a joke about something on TV, and it is met with people joking back that I'm being anal about something or that I am in someway wrong, I suddenly feel like I'm in line on a firing squad. I feel singled out and under attack, and I hate that feeling more than anything.

That's why I've learned to just not speak. I rarely mutter responses to people and generally just ignore others unless I'm one on one with someone and feel a bit safer. Most of the time just yelling goodbye as I head out the door, or goodnight as I head upstairs for bed seems like a huge hurdle that I just can't get over. So I don't try.

This practice causes friction some times, like from my mother-in-law who assumes it's something I only do to her. This morning I blew a reaction from my wife out of proportion and got really upset. It's always the worst for her because I feel the safest saying anything to her, so if she reacts at all like I'm being annoying I take it pretty hard.

I'm not entirely sure how to fix something like this, other than never talk. I guess I just need to stop taking things so personally, but that's easier said than done.

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