While browsing through You-Tube looking for social anxiety type videos (many of the personal video blogs are quite interesting), I came across a clip of, what appears to be a guy with SA, being put on the spot by David Letterman.
Now, one could automatically assume that this individual had social anxiety disorder because of how nervous he looked, the fact that he didnt smile, and how he turned down Daves offer to play some audience participation game. However, after thinking about it for a bit, Im not so sure that we can assume he had SA.
The reason I say this is because, had that been me, things would have been a lot worse. At least the guy was able to communicate with Letterman by answering his questions in a reasonable manner. Yes, he was very nervous looking, but he did ok until he decided that hed had enough and opted not to play.
I imagine how I would have handled that situation. I really dont think I would have been able to speak at all, knowing I was on national television. I mean, Im bad enough when it comes to speaking to anymore than 3 people at a time, let alone millions. This guy definitely did better than I would have done.
Fortunately for me, I would not put myself in a danger zone like that, no matter how slim the chance of getting chosen to participate. Why? Well, lets just say that this episode would seem mild compared to how I would react. Most likely, I would have run out of the place, seriously.
If this gentleman did indeed have SA, then my hat goes off to him for his determination and bravery. You are a better man than I, sir.
I believe that the experience of being on national television is so overwhelming that it affects shy, but non-SA people, in a way that is normally associated with those suffering from social anxiety disorder.
Im sure we cant imagine how intense this is without experiencing it firsthand.
Now, that being the case, one could assume that this fear is something all people have to different degrees. Somehow, that makes me feel better.
Which leads me to my next question: Where does Letterman get an audience full in extroverts?
Well, again, being part of a live studio audience is probably not high on the agenda of most socially phobic people.