Networking Anxiety

On October 22 I attended Doors Open Baltimore. I had originally planned on attending and AIGA event to network, but nothing during design week fit into my schedule. I had to attend this event already for class so I thought that I could use this time to network as well. Doors Open Baltimore was being presented by AIA Baltimore and BAF, so I thought that this would be a good time to get to talk to others in the design field.

For class, we spent time at the Carroll Mansion and Shot Tower gathering demographic observations and research. I had started off the day just gathering observational research but then started to talk to people about their experience at both of these locations. While doing this I thought I would be able to talk to people a little bit more and do some networking. Well, I thought wrong. Halfway through my interview

Well, I thought wrong. Halfway through my interview of a couple, I could feel it. My breathing became labored and my body was shutting down, but I had to push through to finish the interview. I was having an anxiety attack at the worst possible time. Having generalized and social anxiety basically means I’m a ticking timebomb; an attack can hit at any moment. Sometimes I can breathe through them and others I’m curled up in a ball sobbing feeling like I’m going to die.

I’m not sure what triggered my attack, but talking to strangers definitely contribute to it. I know that networking and creating contacts with others is very important, and networking is something that you can only learn through experience. But for me, this experience is something that can come with horrible side effects. People have their good and bad days, and this just so happened to be a bad one for me. I hope that in the future I can find it in me to push through my anxiety so that I can put myself out there and create contacts.

 

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Right before my anxiety attack happened.

 

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