I deviate from the norm of my society in several specific ways that are so severe that I often can’t comprehend what the middle of the bell curve could look like.
For instance, most people are at some level nervous or anxious about public speaking. It outright terrifies some people, and most folks would prefer not to.
I love it. The more people, the better. I’m more nervous talking to one person than 10,000.
To me, public speaking is easier. It has rules, and I do well with rules. Tomorrow I have a big speaking engagement, and I’m more nervous about the pre-talk meeting with my boss than the actual event.
I have a number of extremely irrational phobias that are so ridiculous I don’t even want to mention them here. So I understand the concept of an irrational fear of an unlikely event. But when thinking of my fears, I can articulate to you EXACTLY what I (irrationally) think will happen. My higher brain knows that the statistical probability is very low, but the vividness of my mental image makes me afraid of this thing regardless.
So, that’s my question: for those of you who are genuinely afraid of public speaking, what mental image do you conjure as the event you fear? What does it actually look like? Do other people even treat fears this way?