Overthinking

N is for anxiety. N is for stress

I remember my art teacher at school asking me if I thought a particular painting had been done from life or from a number of separate studies. It was Renoir’s ‘Luncheon of the Boating Party’. Looking at it now, it is very clear that the answer is that it was a compilation of studies brought together in the studio. That was the point of him asking the question, I think.

But at the time my mind went blank. I was trying to second guess what he wanted me to say. Maybe he wanted me to get it wrong so that he could correct me. Or maybe he wanted me to get it right because, after all, the answer was obvious. But if so, why ask something so obvious? I felt completely cornered by trying to work out what he was thinking.

I told him I thought it had been painted from life, knowing that was the wrong answer. He looked slightly perplexed, shook his head and said it was clearly done from studies.

It would have been so much easier just to say what I thought, but, among all the possible options, I didn’t think for a minute that that could possibly be what he wanted …

Social anxiety

– end –


Published by Peter Runkel. Not an introvert nor an HSP … but neurotic, in fact. Reluctant business consultant. Lives life in PowerPoint.

Published by Peter Runkel

Being quite reserved, I have always been interested in those people at the other end of the spectrum - the ones with an unswerving self-belief, sometimes apparently quite out of proportion to their abilities. I wanted to be like them - their lives seemed so much easier by comparison. Now, having thought about it, I’m not so sure I do. I think they have also got it wrong, just in the equal and opposite way. And it's actually about finding some sort of balance.

2 thoughts on “Overthinking

  1. It’s a lesson I’ve learnt the hard way myself – that is not to guess (and then say) what you think someone wants to hear, but instead speak only the truth (give your honest opinion). Social anxiety is a tough burden to bear. I wish you strength in future encounters. 🙏

    Like

    1. Thanks. Yes, the reason people ask questions is because they want to hear what you think, not what you think they think! But it’s the emotional trigger that is difficult to switch off. I have got better at managing it over time, but still sometimes find myself caught in the loop.

      Liked by 1 person

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