So in one of my business classes today, the teacher handed each of us a candy bar and said, “Go sell this to someone for a dollar. You have forty minutes.” This was retarded for two reasons:
First, because he hadn’t taught us anything about selling yet. It would have made more sense to do it at the end of the semester.
Second, because he gave us no time to prepare a sales campaign or pitch. Even professional salesmen have time to prepare at least somewhat for what they’re selling before they go out and try to sell it.
Telling someone with social anxiety to go up to a random stranger, say hi, and try to sell them something with no preparation beforehand is literally the cruelest thing you can do in the history of humankind. My throat closed up, my breath became short, and I had to go up to him and gasp, “I don’t feel well. I need to leave.”
I don’t know what my face looked like, but he said I could go and even asked me if I could get home alone okay.
Fuck this shit. I had an illness-related disability and I was leaving. I told him that (except politer) and I left.
I sat on a bench outside the classroom and tried to breathe as everyone else went in separate directions with their candy. Well, everyone except one other girl. She sat next to me, looking distressed, with no candy in her hand.
It turned out? She had social anxiety, too.
We got to talking, and I convinced her to go to an on campus restaurant with me while we calmed down. I bought her coffee and lunch. We got to talking, and we had a surprising amount in common. We both agreed:
That people telling an anxious person, “Don’t be anxious,” totally does not cure the anxious person’s anxiety at all.
That based on past experience, boyfriends who don’t understand that their girl needs to spend the majority of her time in college studying are literally the worst.
I even recommended to her some disability accommodations that are helpful to me as someone who’s been in college longer who has social anxiety.
She told me I seem very fairy or pixie like. All I need is a pair of wings.
We exchanged numbers and agreed we should hang out sometime, and then she left to go to her next class. So hey, a bad day turned good. I made a new friend today!
We’re going to sit together in class now and have our own little social anxiety corner.