Something different today (sorry there are no books involved) This year, in honour of Bell Let’s Talk Day, I am posting an article I wrote last year.
The Pitfalls of Looking Calm
“You didn’t look anxious!”
This statement can be really encouraging if you have just given a presentation, met someone new or performed for a crowd, but there are other times that looking calm has its downsides.
I have had severe anxiety (both social and general) since I was 11 years old. That’s 14 years of practice looking clam when the panic rises. That is not to say that I am always trying to look calm. Most of the time my focus is not on looking calm but only on surviving the moment, not throwing up and not fainting. I always considered looking calm to be a positive, something to strive for. That is what was taught by all my teachers: look confident, stand up straight, make eye contact, never show that you are nervous. Only in the last year since starting treatment have I realized that showing your vulnerability, your panic, can be important.