Last Updated on Jul 2, 2019
Scopophobia is the fear of being looked at or watched, but more specifically, in my case, the fear of being the center of attention. Circumstances vary from being on stage to taking on the phone about yourself.
I get bad anxiety when:
- I’m talking to people on the phone.
- Explain my feelings to someone.
- Talking to people.
- Showing up somewhere unannounced.
- Showing up late.
- Showing up too early.
- Interviewing for a job.
- Meeting someone somewhere–as in “I’ll meet you in the O.K. Corral at high noon.”
- Changing my routine social interactions–ie greeting people I don’t normally greet.
- Asking someone to go out–on a date or otherwise.
- Requesting intimacy.
- Performing for people–ie karaoke.
- Talking about myself.
- Offering condolences and/or congratulations.
- Offering praise and/or criticism.
- Being in a waiting room with one unknown person who’s also there alone.
- Sharing an elevator or other conveyance.
- Going to the movies alone.
- Changing my routine such that people notice.
- Asking for help.
- Being helpless.
- Offering help.
- Being put on the spot.
- Being spontaneous such that people notice.
- Looking for a product in a retail store or supermarket such that people notice.
- Waiting in line.
- Sitting in the audience where there is audience participation–ie “The Price is Right” or “Whose Line is it, Anyway?”
- Being in a group meeting where participation is expected.
- I’m at a party.
I get around it by escaping into my phone–games, Facebook, whatever. If I can’t or feel like I can’t escape, I start to panic. Unavoidable things amplify my anxiety–like if a teacher calls my name during a lecture. I prefer being a wallflower at parties, if I go at all, because to be otherwise scares me.