My Worst Fear

In Front of Everyone...

I’m walking to math class, feeling really good. I had just gotten an A+ on a social studies test and felt like nothing could bring me down. Boy, was I wrong. Suddenly, a hand shoves me, and I go flying into some 7th grader, looking like a complete idiot. Everyone laughs as I limp into math class, and my good feeling disappears. This could perhaps be the worst thing that could happen to me. Although it’s not very unlikely and uncommon in my life, my worst fear is most definitely public distress. Things like being rejected humiliated, or failing horribly.

One aspect of public distress is rejection. Rejection can come in many forms. For instance, let’s say I want to join an after-school club. I ask, and they say no. This implies many thoughts. Am I not good enough? Am I not smart or cool enough? Any number of things could cross my mind. I would become very paranoid, and I would think anything and everything bad is aimed at me.

Another side to the story is humiliation. Like the anecdote above, this is usually the result of someone trying to make someone else look stupid, dumb, idiotic, or just plain bad. If someone trips me in the hall, my reaction is not going to be good. I’ll be embarrassed, my self-esteem will lower, and I’ll feel bad about myself. Is it my fault? No, but I would still feel pretty bad. And if that continues, I would feel even worse.

The final chapter to public distress is failure. Failure is almost like humiliation, but unlike humiliation, failure would be my fault. This is probably the worst kind of public distress. I’m still being embarrassed, I’m still looking stupid, but I’m doing this on my own. Bombing a presentation. Trying out for soccer, but missing every practice shot. Out of all of parts of public distress, failure is the worst for me.

Public distress is definitely my worst fear. It’s worse than death. It’s worse than spiders. Hopefully, I never have to deal with public distress.