One of my biggest fears these days is running into someone I know in public. I fully realize it’s not a rational fear, but then neither are my fears of spiders and sharks. As a matter of fact, if you consider that I almost never go in the water, and even at 5’1 I tower over the average household arachnid, my social anxiety might actually be one of my more rational fears.
Seriously though, I often dread leaving the house. The thought of having to engage in unsolicited small talk makes my skin crawl. It’s not that I can’t socialize, or even that I’m bad at it, it’s just so… draining.
I realized just how bad my anxiety had gotten when, after visiting with some friends during a recent vacation, twelve-year-old Faith turned to me with a look of awe and said, “Wow, dad. You were so friendly. I was, like, ‘Who are you and what have you done with my dad?'”