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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's incredibly difficult for me to speak in front of a group of people that I know (like a class or my colleagues). I shake violently, stutter, etc. However, for my entire life I have been great in front of audiences of strangers. In high school, I had no problem acting in plays, I've debated competitively for many years, and I work as a tour guide where several times a week I spend an hour and a half speaking to large groups of people. I usually have no problem being outgoing and very perky towards my tour groups, unless it seems to me that the group is not enjoying the tour, and then I usually forget what I need to be saying, stutter a bit, and repeat the phrases over and over.

Because I come across as very bubbly, a lot of people are very surprised that I have extreme social phobia. And my psychiatrist was veeery surprised to learn that I acted, debate, and give tours.

Is there anyone else similar in the sense that they spend a lot of time in front of strangers, and have no problem with it?
 

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I'm the same way. I work as a waitress at a bar and I can go up to people and ask them if they need anything with no problem. But I can hardly handle a conversation with one of my coworkers.
 

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I'm the same way. I work as a waitress at a bar and I can go up to people and ask them if they need anything with no problem. But I can hardly handle a conversation with one of my coworkers.
well i think when its your job you brain cuts out the scared factor and tells you you halve to do it..

when im at work i can go out and talk to any one and be all buddy buddy but when i get home i don't really care to speak to any body.. i don't know i just dont like people that much any more..
 

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may be it's because you don't have to open up to strangers,
whereas, conversation with a colleague, will almost certainly steer into discussion of personal matters, and that's what probably makes you uneasy
 

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Yeah, that's really interesting but it makes sense. When you act you're able to separate from yourself. I saw an interview with Al Pacino on Inside the Actor's Studio. He was sweating and I could tell he was very, very nervous. His voice was even a little shaky. He looked scared half to death! He must completely separate himself from the shyness and anxiety when he plays a character.
 

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Also, in debates I'm fine too. Especially if I'm passionate about the subject. Somehow 'I' tend to disappear and the subject becomes everything. I'm worst with small talk. I think it might be because it's boring and I start looking inward instead of outward.
 

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I used to be really afraid of like, public speaking. Until I took the class this semester, I've really gotten used to it, plus my doctor has recently given me good meds so I've gotten even better about it :) lol. I also love attention from strangers and people I know alike, mainly classmates. I usually have everyone laughing and whatnot, I really kind of come off as a social butterfly. BUT then one of my friends asks me to come hang out with their friends, or go to a club, or party or something of that nature...and I can't do it. I always end up sitting in my room alone. I never go anywhere. I think I've been out with a friend once this whole semester, and that was very nervewracking because I had to meet some of his friends. It really doesn't make a lot of sense to me, why I'm like this. Frustrating. :(
 

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I used to be really afraid of like, public speaking. Until I took the class this semester, I've really gotten used to it, plus my doctor has recently given me good meds so I've gotten even better about it :) lol. I also love attention from strangers and people I know alike, mainly classmates. I usually have everyone laughing and whatnot, I really kind of come off as a social butterfly. BUT then one of my friends asks me to come hang out with their friends, or go to a club, or party or something of that nature...and I can't do it. I always end up sitting in my room alone. I never go anywhere. I think I've been out with a friend once this whole semester, and that was very nervewracking because I had to meet some of his friends. It really doesn't make a lot of sense to me, why I'm like this. Frustrating. :(
If a public speaking class helped you alot, why don't you try a modern dance class. Nothing boosts your confidence like being able to lay down the moves when you go out to clubs (not that I can dance anyhow)
 

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Lol, I should consider that. Although, I can dance already, at least, I think. My friends spin techno so occasionally I'll dance. I'm sure there's always room for improvement though, and I bet a class would be fun :)
 

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Lol, I should consider that. Although, I can dance already, at least, I think. My friends spin techno so occasionally I'll dance. I'm sure there's always room for improvement though, and I bet a class would be fun :)
Hehe then you can teach me :)
 

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I think it's because it's less important to you what strangers would think of you since you will probably never even see them again where as classmates, coworkers you have to face them again so you put more pressure on yourself.
 

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Yes, I know what you mean. I'm definitely a lot less anxious when I have to face people on a "professional" level. Like in school etc. It's a whole different thing if I want to talk to someone and get them to like me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
well i think when its your job you brain cuts out the scared factor and tells you you halve to do it..
You know, that makes a lot of sense. It's a whole lot easier to do things like make phone calls or talk to people when it's on behalf of someone or something else.

That said, we also knowingly are taking jobs or start careers where there's a lot of interaction with a lot of people. Do you all think that maybe some of us really deeply want to interact and connect with people, but since we are unable to on our own, we put ourselves in positions where we know we will have to?
 
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