Yesterday my boss asked me to go downtown today to pick up some tax documents at the state’s local field office. I didn’t think they could provide the documents, but I didn’t have the nerve or desire to argue with him so I reluctantly agreed.
I’ve had to go to this field office a few times before. Each time, I’ve had to endure a rather difficult social situation because the receptionist is very attractive and socially adept. In other words, she’s beautiful and perfect, and I’m not. These thoughts happen in a split second and ensure that I will fail. Now, CBT has taught me to catch these thoughts before they happen, to counter them with positive, rational thoughts. But this never seems to happen quick enough. I sum up that she’s perfect and place her on a pedestal before my rational mind has a chance to kick in–and I’m left playing catch up.
Anyhow, earlier I started having anticipatory anxiety about the situation: Not only would I have to face this perfect being but I also don’t feel comfortable asking for the documents since I don’t think they could provide them. And so, I started coming up with ways to get out of going–
- I could lie to my boss by telling him that I went and that they either didn’t have the documents or couldn’t give them to me.
- I could call in sick.
- I could call the tax office to see if they could even provide the documents.
The third choice seemed the most logical, but I’m terrified of making phone calls, especially when I have time to think about what I’m going to say beforehand, so I wanted to do the first choice. Eventually though, I talked myself into calling, which was horrible in itself, but I found that I was right: They couldn’t give me the documents after all.
I’m now beating myself up, telling myself that it wasn’t that bad and I shouldn’t have been fretting about the situation at all. I’m also disappointed in myself for avoiding another social situation.
Why can’t I look at the good parts? I mean, I made the phone call even though I was terrified and obtained an answer without lying. Those are positives, I guess.
If I’m not perfect then I’m nothing at all.