I suppose I should go ahead and describe the experiment I did in class, just in case anyone who reads this wasn't there. I had two fears in mind as to what I could do: one was the fear of drowning, and one was the fear of judgement. I ended up choosing the latter because, quite frankly, revealing and talking about that one to the class scared me more than anything else, and so, that's why I felt like I needed to do it.
I got up and talked to the class about my fear, about how I'm terrified that everyone will judge me, and how I constantly lie to make it to where people can never actually see the real me, because I am afraid that if they do, they will abandon me. This is perhaps the most honest thing I have ever said, and it was terrifying to say it in front of so many people, especially people who I didn't know intimately. As I was talking, I passed out notecards and asked the class to write down on them what they honestly thought of me and then give the cards back, they were allowed to put there name on it or remain anonymous, whichever they were more comfortable with, because honestly, I wasn't sure which terrified me more: knowing who thought what about me, or knowing the thoughts but not knowing who thought them.
It took me a long time to get around to reading the notes. A really long time, I was terrified of seeing what they were, but I did eventually read them. I'll include them below (or at least some of them, the interesting ones)
I'll include some of the thoughts that interested me/troubled me the most:
- "I do not know you very well, but from what I do know, you are a person I would want to know."
- There were two cards that were completely blank ... which troubled me more than it probably should have.
- This one was a list but I'll include the interesting parts: "socially, the class clown ... potentially a leader ... self-depreciating humor."
- "I had a hard time believing you wrote novels." ... I might just have to link my novel here or something. I doubt anyone will read it, so I might just include it to see what happens. We'll see how frisky I'm feeling when I get done with this blog post.
- "I think you're lying about being scared of your presentation because you said you were a good liar." ... If only that were the case, no I was terrified. But then again, I kind of walked into the classic paradox of 'if a person tells you that they're a habitual liar, do you believe them?'
- "People will respect you more if you tell the truth." ... I know that, but it doesn't make telling it any easier.
- "Someone I could hang out with an have a drink ... needs more confidence."
- "Dope as hell." ... Not sure what this means, but cool.
- "I think you're very attractive and a nice dresser. From what I've seen in class, you are also very intelligent and I read what you wrote for the partner assignment, and thought it was very well done. I'm glad you opened up. I relate to your fear a ton." ...This one perhaps hit me the most. Mainly because I didn't think anyone would bother to read my story, let alone enjoy it. Also being called attractive is always nice. So thank you person!
There were several more, but I don't want this blog post to turn into a novel, so I'll leave them off for now. I might add them later. Anyway, if you are reading this and I didn't post yours, it's not because I didn't read it, I did, I just got tired. Thank you for writing and participating.
Well, reading over my original hypothesis ... it was kind of really vague, so I guess I was correct in a way. I thought that some people would understand/go along with it, and some wouldn't (which the blank cards proved.), so I guess I was right about that.
However, I think I got a lot more out of it than I was expecting. I have honestly never been so terrified in my life as I was getting up and talking about all that, especially admitting that I was lying. I've never done that with anyone, and only recently did it with my counselor. It's hard for me to admit to people, hell, it's hard for me to admit to myself that I'm a liar. I don't know if it felt good to get off my chest or not, but it's out there now, and a class of twenty-some-odd people know about it, so there's that.
I worry about how people will see me come tomorrow (last class). Maybe they will have forgotten, at least, that's my hope. Writing about all this is actually pretty hard, and it's making me tear up a little honestly. Damn you for that Beth (just kidding, I think the assignment was a good one, and something I needed to do, even if I didn't want to. My counselor also agrees.)
Changes I would've made to the experiment ... I don't know, I think that it went pretty well, like I had hoped it would. Maybe I could've worked on my speech a little bit more, because I know I was awfully shaky up there as I was talking, and I don't think I made eye contact with anyone the whole time. Otherwise, I think that it worked out well.
I think the anonymity was a nice touch to the cards, so I might have changed it to make it be anonymous, as the cards with people's names on them seemed to be a little less honest, and a little more polite. Not that that's bad, but I think that it would've been better to have had everyone wear the mask of anonymity so they would know that no matter what they wrote about me, I couldn't judge them back.
Which would've been strangely poetic, don't you think?
Also, to the nonbeliever out there (who will probably never read this post), here's my novel, read it and weep:
(I guess I was friskier than I thought I would be.)