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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys!

So I have an INTENSE fear of public speaking. I've tried everything over the years to try to overcome it (medication, counseling, exercise, self-help books, increased exposure, etc.) but have had no success. I'm currently in a graduate program where we have to give 3 30 minute presentations to our class and I told my professor it just wasn't something I'm able to do. He understood and is going to allow me to present it to him and another faculty member but now everyone in my class and other faculty members are going to wonder and ask why I'm not presenting and it's completely stressing me out. I'm contemplating writing an email to my classmates to tell them briefly and vaguely why I won't be presenting. I just don't feel like dealing with 25 people asking me what's wrong. Have any of you guys told your classmates about your anxiety? If so, did you get a positive response. Thanks so much for your input! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you LONDN!

Thanks SO much for the encouragement LONDN! Even though it's uncomfortable, deep down I feel like emailing my class is something I should do and that people would understand. Both my husband and mom thought it was TMI and wasn't anyone else's business and actually discouraged me from doing it...but they're not the ones having to deal with the anxiety and everyone's probing questions. I feel like it's always best to be honest and would rather be open with people from the get-go.
 

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one thing that makes SA persist is shame. So, it's great that you want to confront that.

...however, I would suggest that a more bold (and frightening!) solution is to tell your classmates in person. No apologies, no longwinded personal testimonials, just a factual, unemotional explanation of why they won't be seeing your presentation. Email is certainly the easier route, but if you've been hiding SA for most of your life, then an email is just another way of hiding. Take this opportunity to stop hiding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks!

Thanks for all the input everybody! I'm going to send the email to my classmates out tonight and the presentations (and my lack of one) go on tomorrow. Very very nervous...will let you know how it goes. :/
 
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