When put in the spotlight I can't think properly. - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-24-2008, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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When put in the spotlight I can't think properly.


It can be only one other person watching. My mind will freeze. I will have difficulty remembering basic things and, worst of all, doing mental arithmetic. Many times even when I am alone, I get so self conscious, that I have this problem. It is as if a part of me is watching and carefully scrutinizing my performance. If it is subpar, my confidence dips and I start getting worried so much that I can't focus on the problem anymore. I suspect this is a form of test anxiety.

Now that I have written it down and have thought about this, I bet it is going to interfere even more.

Anyone know of useful strategies to avoid this? Meditation? Deep breathing?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-24-2008, 09:04 PM
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Re: When put in the spotlight I can't think properly.


Me too! I can think much better when I'm by myself but when I'm with other people my mind goes blank. I was at the restaurant with a friend the other day and he asked me to add up my share of the bill. Normally I don't have a problem with this but because he was waiting and watching my mind froze and I felt like an idiot. I find it does help if I try to focus on the problem at hand without thinking of other people but of course this is easier said than done.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 07:30 AM
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Re: When put in the spotlight I can't think properly.


Yea, if people are waiting and watching me I get performance anxiety too. I can be in a snack bar and looking around for something to buy and if the person behind the counter stares at me waiting for me to decide it interferes with my thought processes.

Funny how a big part of having SA is the fear of losing credibility in the eyes of others by possibly showing them that you are "behaviorally handicapped."

"OMG, My friend was so nervous eating out at that restaurant! And I thought he was normal all this time! I feel so betrayed!" (imaginary conversation by a normal person finding out he has a very shy friend)

"If the only thing people learned was not to be afraid of their experience, that alone would change the world." -Syd Banks
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 08:00 AM
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Re: When put in the spotlight I can't think properly.


One of my most persistant problems, even know that I've overcome a lot of other things. No solution. But I have a theory about where my "test anxiety" came from...

My dad is pretty much a math genius and he took me under his wing from an early age...I was doing SAT Math prep in middle school.lol. Anyway, when I got a question wrong, he'd punish me physically. Nothing drastically serious--and it's common in his country of origin--but it definitely hurt. Hasn't happened since my early teenage years but apparently, like many other things in my life, I need to "release" it.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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Re: When put in the spotlight I can't think properly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SADFighter
One of my most persistant problems, even know that I've overcome a lot of other things. No solution. But I have a theory about where my "test anxiety" came from...

My dad is pretty much a math genius and he took me under his wing from an early age...I was doing SAT Math prep in middle school.lol. Anyway, when I got a question wrong, he'd punish me physically. Nothing drastically serious--and it's common in his country of origin--but it definitely hurt. Hasn't happened since my early teenage years but apparently, like many other things in my life, I need to "release" it.
I can somewhat relate to that. Only my parents and I never were math geniuses. When I did bad in school (middle school years) I was scolded, not physically beaten though. Supposedly, when I was a little kid I WAS physically beaten. Again, this is not uncommon in my country of origin.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 10:46 AM
 
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Re: When put in the spotlight I can't think properly.


i have serious performance anxiety. thats why i have such a hard time training for a new job. its so hard for me to focus on the job when i am constantly being watched. i feel i am gonna to make a mistake. once i get thrue the whole getting formilar with the work environment then im ok
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-09-2010, 02:13 PM
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i experience this also i could be fine then my teacher asks me a question and my anxiety flares up almost instantly and my mind goes blank.its partly because the class goes quiet and everyone stares at me i usually will say i don't know even if i do if the answer is long no one knows how smart i really am and that sucks.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-05-2010, 02:08 AM
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I never knew this could be a condition that affects other people other than me. I tend to become rather incoherent when put in the spotlight, I cant think straight. Words just vanish. But very shortly afterwards (after I am on my own) I suddenly remember a lot of things I should have said, or it suddenly hits me that I could have put it in a better, more effective way. It's really frustrating, especially considering my profession required me to constantly interact with people. I feel more comfortable communicating using letters, emails, and even internet chats. I hate having to speak with people, especially in situations where persuasion is key. There was time I used to be good in my social skills, when I was very young. I had lots of friends. Now, I just don't care about them, especially those who make me feel like I need them more than they need me. I no longer feel the need to overcompensate just to be their friend (something I used to do before). Needless to say, my social life sucks.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-05-2010, 06:41 AM
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Same. Whenever the teacher says my name and asks a question, it doesn't register and I'm like "uhmmm, dunno, not sure". It's the most akward thing that could happen... then afterwards I realise it was actually a really easy question, it makes me look stupid [SA].
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-05-2010, 07:52 AM
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When I'm in tuition, and my teacher gives me work(math), I can usually do it, but when she sits in front of me, I just forget every single thing and just stone there...

Then it will be sooooo awkward..
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-05-2010, 08:22 AM
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I have bad performance anxiety. I feel like my brain just turns to mush when I'm being watched, evaluated or tested. My mind goes blank, I forget things and it's terribly difficult to focus on basic tasks. My motor skills also worsen and I get clumsy. I'm constantly dropping things when I'm nervous.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-05-2010, 09:28 AM
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I have terrible performance anxiety. Which is why I always did bad on in-class exams and essays in high school, especially if I was sitting around people whose presence made me extra nervous. My mind would go blank and I was screwed.

Or when I have to memorize something, I can practice until I can say it perfectly when I'm alone, but if there are people watching, I freeze and can only recall small bits and pieces.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-05-2010, 10:48 AM
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Same thing happens to me. When I'm comfortable, like when I'm chatting online or with a close friend, I'm quick thinking, intelligent, and can speak properly. But if I'm in a group or talking to a person I don't know, my mind freezes up.

I forget people's names, place names, the right words. Examples:

"What you just said about Paris reminds me of... of when I was in the city of... well, its this city in Germany, like, in the south, umm.. I forget the name now, but I stayed there for a month and it was like Paris."

"Remember when you dated that girl.... umm, what's her name, and I was her math tutor? You know, her name was like.... well... you must know, you dated her!..."

"I couldn't turn my car. It was so hard... turning the wheels, you know, holding on circling it right but going left." (When I meant to simply say "It was hard to steer," with 'steer' being the proper word.)

Some of the solutions mentioned here sound good. I'm going to try them. Good luck.
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