Raising Hand in Class Fear and Shyness
I’ve never been one to actively participate in class. I’ve always done all my work, but I’ve done it quietly and mostly keep to myself. When the teacher asks a question, I hesitate to respond and feel uncomfortable even thinking about the possibility of being picked to answer or to raise my hand.
I knew it was bad, but these past few days when I’ve been attempting to raise my hand surprised me with how difficult it was for me to do it. It was so hard that I couldn’t even bring myself to do it when I planned on doing it.
When the question was asked or there was time for comments, I thought carefully about what I could say in my head. But just the mere thought of answering the question and raising my hand made my sympathetic nervous system go out of control. My heart started pounding, my arm went limp, and my hands felt a little sweaty. I also had a lot of negative thoughts in my head that were urging me to keep my hand down, so I felt like I was frozen.
In my psych class last week I thought of questions I could ask in advance since I had already read the week’s reading. But when the time came when I could ask questions, I found that I couldn’t bring myself to ask them before someone else said something that changed the topic or she moved on to the next subject. I was actually going to answer the very first question she asked, but I only got to awkwardly raising my hand half way before someone else just yelled out the answer and she moved on.
And in Lit class, there was a question I could have easily answered but when he asked the question and the room got silent, I couldn’t raise my hand and break the silence. But I guess maybe my teacher could tell that I was trying to answer because I kept eye contact with him, and he said my name. I answered with ease then just fine when I had been called on, but for some reason answering without being specifically called on is a lot harder for me.
So March will be about participating in class. I’m not sure how I’m going to do it or what my specific goal will be yet, but I’m going to do it. Maybe if I just don’t think about what I’m doing like I did when I made phone calls to reconnect with friends it’ll be easier? I’ll find out I guess. If anyone has ever had a similar fear to mine or has any tips on how you overcame your fear, I’d love to hear from you. And if you just want to make comments in general, I’d be happy to hear them.