Thursday, 6 December 2007


I need a haircut. I don’t think I’ve had a haircut since summer and, while I like the effect of my hair framing my face, I really need to shear some of it off as I look a little too much like Charlie Brown wearing his pumpkin crash helmet. But I’m a bit scared of going to the hairdresser’s. It’s one of those fears that I’ve had since I was a kid and have never really grown out of. And it’s not confined to hairdresser’s shops either. It’s anyplace where I’ll have no option but to talk to someone I don’t know. Pathetic, isn’t it?

A similar fear in both its nature and its feebleness is my fear of phoning people I don’t know. Worse is that I, to a lesser extent, don’t even like phoning people I know. I normally have to psyche myself up to phone anyone apart from my immediate family and one or two others. What if they’re doing something and I interrupt them? No, I can’t be comfortable with that. The sad thing is that this stupid fear has actually cost me a very close friend who probably thought I was ignoring her on purpose but it was really because I was scared to phone her in case I woke her newborn daughter. And I still haven’t learnt, I still find it really hard to phone people. That’s unless it’s something important or necessary and then I seem to find it easy. I have no problem at all at work either. I have to phone unfamiliar people all of the time and it never bothers me. Sometimes I wonder why this is. And then I stop wondering why and get on with reading or surfing the web or doing anything rather than face my fear.

In the interests of balance, here are some things I’m not afraid of: Spiders, heights, my dad, the dark, death, public speaking, sex, open spaces, getting old, clowns and making fun of myself. That’s not a bad list and there are loads of other common fears that I have no problem with. And all I’m really scared of is two things: Rejection and failure. It’s just a shame that those two things are quite pervasive as far as life is concerned. They're probably at the root of my every unsuccessful episode.

Maybe I have Avoidant Personality Disorder. I can certainly identify with some of the symptoms. Or maybe I'm just a very weak man. Or, one more maybe, I could just be a normal human being. Aren't we all scared of something? Would I not be a complete freak if there was nothing in this big bad world that caused me to irrationally feel fear? I like that conclusion! I am only a little bit pathetic which makes me pretty much perfect! This is excellent. Now if I can just summon up the courage to go to the hairdresser's my life would be complete...

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