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Things i dont like - Essay Example

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In a rare example of true irony in life as Ive experienced it, I would soon be giving a presentation about my hatred of giving presentations. After…
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Here Here Here Here The Anxiety of Embarrassment When I was asked to write a paper about things I dislike and to present the ideas to the class, I couldnt help but to chuckle. In a rare example of true irony in life as Ive experienced it, I would soon be giving a presentation about my hatred of giving presentations. After recovering from the initial panic and giving the idea some consideration, I realized that this would be the perfect opportunity to learn more about the reaction, instead of ignoring it as usual. Perhaps, by understanding some of the reasons that I despise giving presentations, I can gain some insight on how to overcome it in the future.
The dislike of presenting, as far as I can tell from my particular perspective, is rooted in a fear of public speaking. Since this issue is commonly discussed in school, I had expected it to be well covered in literature. This was a correct assumption, but an initial glance at the research and theories of this condition presented a bit of a shock. For some reason, I hadnt considered that the problem might be linked to an anxiety disorder. To make it clear, I was well aware that I felt extremely anxious about presentations, but I did not ever think of it as a health concern. However, it does cause me distress and sometimes impedes my regular life, so an official assessment might tell a different story. This revelation strengthened my resolve, and gave meaning to the new goal of reducing my anxiety in public speaking situations.
The next logical step in the process was to determine the factors that underlie the anxious response. A 2010 study (Nelson 282) suggests that biased processing in the brain is associated with anxiety disorders. Their study found that someone with public speaking anxiety is more likely to overestimate the risk of negative social interactions in both frequency and impact. This makes sense from an outside perspective, but I still feel stubborn to admit any exaggeration on my part. This is the kind of information I will need to become more open to, so that I may benefit in the future. Public speaking and presentations are a part of life for students, and so I can only make it easier on myself by letting my guard down and addressing these potential biases in my own cognitive processing.
This assignment was to address multiple objects of distain in my life, and it turns out that public speaking anxiety is the perfect segue to the second item I had intended to address . I hate embarrassing situations. In fact, I now understand that the fear of being publically embarrassed is probably the root of the anxiety I feel about presentations (and other potentially upsetting social situations). Keeping with the theme of neurology in examining anxiety, I located an article (Blair et al. 1526) that described how parts of the brain act during the experience of embarrassment. The research relied on our tendency to feel embarrassed for others (empathy) to trigger brain activity, and it was theorized that the activation would closely match the pattern that would take place during personal embarrassment. They read stories of people experiencing awkward situations, and recorded the subjects fMRI readings. Interestingly, stronger reactions correlated with parts of the brain thought to be associated with self-referential processing, which is essentially the process of recalling memories related to the concept of self. So, as was concluded above, it appears that embarrassment anxiety is a processing error.
Obtaining this new perspective of my hatred for potential embarrassment makes me feel better about it, if only because I now realize that there is a lot of research on the topic (Naragon-Gainey 128), increasing the likelihood of finding an approach that helps.
Works Cited
Blair, Karina S., et al. "Social norm processing in adult social phobia: atypically increased
ventromedial frontal cortex responsiveness to unintentional (embarrassing)
transgressions." The American journal of psychiatry 167.12 (2010): 1526.
Naragon-Gainey, Kristin. "Meta-analysis of the relations of anxiety sensitivity to the depressive
and anxiety disorders." Psychological bulletin 136.1 (2010): 128.
Nelson, Elizabeth A., et al. "Targeting the probability versus cost of feared outcomes in public

speaking anxiety." Behaviour research and therapy 48.4 (2010): 282-289. Read More
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