Hello everyone, welcome back to The Anxiety Diaries guest post series. Today I would like to welcome Nicola from Mummy Wales to the blog. Nicola is a Welsh mummy of two living in the South East of England, blogging about her family life. Today she is sharing her story about her anxiety in social situations, something which I struggle with too.
I’m not shy. Nevertheless, throw me into a crowded room alone, or ask me to give a speech in front of a hundred people and, guaranteed, my cheeks will turn red quicker than you can ask ‘what’s wrong with your face?’
The same thing can happen at my Lindyhop classes once the taught class has finished and the floor is opened up to social dancing. Faced with the prospect of having to follow my leader instead of a routine, it’s pot luck if I manage to relax enough to make that connection, to feel the subtle pressure from the leader that signals to a follower how to respond.
I may not necessarily become tomato-cheeked, as my nervousness is more likely to manifest itself as a tangle of arms or an awkward twist of fingers (though hopefully not as an elbow to the face). And to be fair, that’s not always to blame. Sometimes my frame needs work, the lead is too weak so the connection isn’t there, or one or both of us are just so knackered we can hardly keep our feet moving to the rhythm.
But it does bother me. I want to be a good follower. I want to be a follower that leaders want to dance with. And to do that, I need to have confidence, I need to relax, and my dancing will be the better for it.
Every time the teacher looks at me, I become tense. God forbid he picks me out help him demonstrate. The tension builds up and I’ve been known, on more than one occasion, to choke on my water and proceed to cough my guts up. Which, of course, does not help matters.
And as much as my ‘condition’ causes me embarrassment every now and then, I do consider how this might be affecting Little O, and how it might affect Baby R as he grows older. Little O isn’t shy either but he can be cautious, which I know isn’t necessarily a bad thing. He weighs up situations before jumping in and it takes him time to get used to new people. The right support will help him develop into a confident individual, neither too shy nor too arrogant. His current opener is ‘Hey, what you doing?‘ which isn’t a bad start so maybe I could learn a thing or two?
Confidence at a young age must be fostered, reinforced and encouraged. In fact – who am I kidding? Confidence at any age must be fostered, reinforced and encouraged. So, I guess that leaves only one thing for me to say.
Hey. What you doing?
This post first appeared on Mummy Wales.
If you want to read more of The Anxiety Diaries series, including my story and more guest posts, you can find them on my Anxiety Diaries page. If you would like to tell your story (you don’t have to be a blogger!) please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org