Doing things badly in front of other people when you can normally do them well when alone

So, well I just wanted to know if this is a common thing or if it is a me thing. I know I’m socially anxious so that probably plays a part of it. Though I suppose that having people with around me could also trigger the attention shifting in my ADHD. I would like to hear your stories (if you have any), so please be free to share. I will start by doing so myself.

Parallel parking is like suprisingly the thing I’m best at regarding driving, that is to say, if I am alone. The moment something living besides myself is with me, I have a tendency to misjudge the space and often end up backing/driving in to cars.

Another thing would be reading outloud in class. Like when I was sitting at home all by myself I was the Olympic gold-medal winner of reading, but in class or just in front of others, my tongue would get twisted and I would stumble over the words, skip sentences, misread, and lose myself - and that was extremely frustrating.

So, again I ask you to please share your stories- I personally have loads more examples and I’m willing to share more if any of you ask.

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Perhaps the larger part . . . Assuming “distractibility” is always waiting (impulsively . . . :sunglasses:) to jump in . . . Then together it would seem to constitute the “perfect storm”!

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I get this with too I especially notice it with sports like basketball golf and surfing which I like But when I’m with people It’s so much harder for some reason.
The weird one I’ve noticed though is with walking, and yes I mean just walking, when I think people are watching me walk or worse filming me it’s like I completely forget how I normally do it and it’s like I’m imitating how I think somebody should walk and I don’t really know what to do with my arms and legs :joy:

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Does playing piano count? There’s lots of pieces I love and work hard on, but every time I play for someone I constantly feel like I’m going to mess up :sweat_smile:
My most recent experience is when I was playing shendoah ( folk song ). I practiced for 2 hours… and made every possible mistake when showing my teacher. uuhghhh facepalm

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I believe that it’s a fear of failure. You feel pressured to do it right, but obviously the pressure makes you do it wrong. I have it too indeed.

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I think it is to do with performance anxiety or ‘stage fright’ this is a very common fear for many people, getting up in front of other people to give a talk is usually the biggest social fear, and yet most people manage to talk okay without an audience.
I think the performance anxiety is probably elevated to higher level with groups like ours, where we tend to have been on the recieving end of too much negative criticism and have become too self aware or too sensitive about ourselves and our actions.

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But then I should feel afraid on stage. If there’s some place I don’t feel nervous or scared it’s on stage. I loooove performing

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Hello @Bubbles17 I think that’s great that you are a performer, it’s not something I would be comfortable doing.
My post was just a general comment about the thread topic and my personal experience, it was not specifically directed towards you. I think your point about fear of failure also has a big part too.

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Yeah I think it’s a combination. Especially because like you said, we’re so used to being scolded on for doing everything wrong that we basically always expect ourselves doing it wrong. And then when there are people close you’re afraid to be judged about it and that puts pressure on you which makes us do it wrong. Probably a combination of what we both said.

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I have performance anxiety so bad that at 24 years old I still haven’t gotten my driver’s license due to having to take a test to do so. On a normal day I’m mostly fine at driving and feel generally comfortable doing it, but when it came to the test, I panicked a didn’t even make it out of the parking lot. The only solution is just to continue practicing until its second nature I guess.

One of my biggest anxieties is phone calls, but only when other people are present. I have nearly wept at the pressure of being repeatedly asked to place a pickup order at parties, and won’t make phone calls, no matter how important, if anyone is home with me. I’m not sure how to overcome this.

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If you have access to an adhd coach or counselling, maybe you could ask for support in working through this. My gut feel is that the solution will be to ‘fake it till you make it’, ie do it until it feels OK after all (as you also mentioned), but that’s easier said than done.

Rome wasn’t built in a day though. If you want to fix this, you will find the strength and a way to cope. Trying to be kind to myself about the things I find most challenging does help me to tackle them better than when I feel cross with myself for not just managing.

Hope you find a way that works for you :kissing_closed_eyes:

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I know exactly what you mean. What you discribed I have it all the time.
Painting? I think I’m quite good at it…but when someone watches :grimacing:
Conversations? I have data in my head to help your argument or prove you wrong…but my brain decides not to remember any of it, when I really talk to people.
Taking a test? Do you remember when the teacher walked trough the room and looked over your shoulder and you suddenly forget how to hold a pencil?
I think that says enough :sweat_smile:

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I remember thinking about my teacher before leaving for school . . . And forgetting to bring my pencil (and my book bag) to school! :rofl:

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I used to avoid phone calls too and get really anxious about them, I didn’t actively go out of my way to get over the fear but I’ve had jobs and things where I didn’t have the option of avoiding them and over time the anxiety disappeared, I must admit I still don’t like phone calls and avoid them sometimes but that’s more in the same way I avoid doing other things I know I need to do and not because of anxiety.
One useful tip I learnt when taking calls is to close my eyes to help concentrate on what the other person is saying, I also make sure I have a pen and paper ready to write stuff down and don’t be afraid to ask the other person to repeat themselves if you’ve missed something.

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I used to love riding my bike when I was younger (I still like it now) and when I was in 5th grade or so there was some thing at school where we could bring our bike and do some kind of obstacle course. I was amazing at riding my bike and would ride for hours after school nothing super fancy because I couldn’t go very far but I was good. So I’m doing this obstacle course and they had these blocks set up and you were supposed to ride through the blocks without touching them… My bike touched just about every single block. My Dad was there since he brought my bike. He was soo embarrassed. Fun times. :woman_facepalming:t5:

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Ugh that’s the worst :sob: anyone else feel like a total idiot anytime they passed?? Like I know my answer is correct, so why does it feel like you’re judging me…

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