I always walk away from every conversation thinking that the person I just spoke with must think I am the stupidest person on the planet. I am convinced that I leave everyone with the general opinion that I am inarticulate, uneducated, incompetent, unsure, awkward, scared, vapid and idiotic. I have to tell myself as I walk away that those thoughts are not true, and are just floating around in my head to fuck with me.
I walk away, out of breath, shaking, sweating, heart RACING. I run through the conversation in my head, trying to think about how I could have said something differently/better. I know there are funny looks crossing my face. I can feel my face contort as I replay the conversation. I can only imagine what I must look like to passers-by.
The past week or so, as I have walked away and the thoughts start bubbling up about what a fool I come across as, I tell myself that, just because I’m thinking it, doesn’t mean it’s true. I also try to think about the fact that I cannot change what has just happened. I try to take deep breaths as I’m walking back to my desk (I really only talk to people at work, and only when I have to), telling myself over and over, “I can’t change the past. BREATHE. I can’t change the past. BREATHE.” It’s helped a little. I have been trying to stop my negative thoughts before they can really intensify and become out of control. As long as I can keep my thoughts tampered down, I think I have a halfway decent chance of not completely losing it today.