We’ve all had that bad dream where you’re standing in front of a class of people in your underwear, but for some folks, the stakes don’t need to be nearly that high for the situation to be considered a true nightmare.
Here are some real examples from the people of Reddit of truly mortifying experiences for the introverted.
1. The introduction.
“Ok everyone, before we begin why don’t we go around the room and tell us a little about yourselves.”
2. Bad crops.
i dont talk much in class, and i interact with only a few people.
Some of my classmates just thought i hate them, and cropped me out of their EOY class photos which they then posted on ig.
i dont really care about their posts, i just felt really hurt they cropped me out
3. Class mime.
Had a high school buddy who was sworn to silence to most people even teachers, yet a select few kids he’d talk to.
Funniest guy I’ve ever met. Said he’s gone full years without saying a word to his own teachers
4. The sheepish shuffle.
Entering a new place for the first time, be it a shop or a bar or a restaurant.
I’m always play the gentleman and hold the door open for my partner so she can assess the area before I sheepishly shuffle in behind.
5. The corporate blackout.
While going to college I interned for the state’s largest business development corporation. In a meeting with c-suite executives the top dog was just making friendly conversation before we got started and asked me what classes I was taking.
To set the picture, I am just the peon note-taker and would never expect anyone to even notice that I was there, let alone put me on the spot with a long table of successful professionals staring at me.
I blacked out. Zero brain function. I mumbled a few inaudible grunts and umms before having no choice but to admit that I couldn’t remember. Oh my dog, I wanted to die. The looks of confusion and the awkward century that it took to switch topics amongst themselves still haunts me before bed.
6. Move that bus!
I was in elementary and took a bus home each day.
I missed my stop and I was so terribly shy and quiet the bus driver didn’t hear me. He went on to pick up high school students and didn’t notice I was still on the bus.
The high school students were so sweet and kind. They alerted the bus driver and he took me home.
My mom was freaking out by the time I got home!
7. Public speaking.
Mandatory speech class when I was a freshman in college.
I’d do the thing, then go back to my dorm and throw up. Really freaked out my roommate (who I barely spoke to).
5 speeches that semester…it was a nightmare.
8. Therapy for therapy.
I was in a group therapy session as a kid like maybe 14. I really had to go to the bathroom but we weren’t allowed to during the session. I was sorta balled up in the center of the room, not like emotional or anything just sitting comfortably hugging my knees cuz all the spots on the couch were taken.
Some girl had just finished telling a story of her abuse. She was crying and there was no other sound. Was sort of that awkward but respectful silence that fills the space when you wanna be supportive but saying anything at all would somehow seem inconsiderate.
It was into this yawning void that i farted. I knew it was coming. I’d been staving off the gurgling in my stomach for some time now. Id broken into a sweat already with the sheer effort of will to delay the inevitable. It was no use.
I tried to discreetly shift my weight and maybe muffle the sound. I failed. This was neither silent nor deadly. It effortlessly shattered the silence like sledgehammer vs a christmas ornament.
Another moment of silence swallowed the sound but it was a void of disbelief. Then some kid yelled as loud as they could.. “jen farted!!!” And the entire room collapsed into helpless laughter while i promptly turned to stone and died on the spot.
9. The silent type.
in my high school spanish class, some kid screamed “do you ever talk” at me in front of the entire class.
super embarrassing at the time, but hilarious to look back on.
edit: for those curious, i said nothing in response. if only i could go back in time
10. What’s in a name?
I never corrected my boss when she mixed up my name on the first day. I had already introduced myself to some people by my real name, the other half of people my boss introduced me to, called me another. I felt too shy to correct her in front of the group. It just led to more awkward conversations, as the two names were completely different.
11. Gee thanks.
In college, my professors just love giving us projects that end up with class presentation. I told a professor how I hate speaking in front of people cause I’m shy/awkward/stuttering my words when nervous. He said try your best
The week of, he sent out a email that said, “It’s Brenna’s favorite part. The speaking part”
12. At attention.
Graduating basic training and having to walk across the stage, stop at the mic, execute a left face turn, state my name in the mic with a short pause between first and last name as a cue for the next row of guys to walk up.
I completely f*cked it up in front of everyone. Went to shake my drill sergeants hand as a formality of the ceremony and he whispered to me “way to f*ck that up in front of everyone, dipsh*t, f*ck off back to your seat.”
I f*cking hate public speaking..
Having a group of people sing ‘happy birthday’ to you.
14. On mute.
Worst one was probably when someone said why don’t you talk and I just shrugged but they didn’t get the joke and actually thought I was mute
15. Bad timing.
Starts college -> doesn’t make friends -> lockdown -> sh*t’s f*cked
Welp. Better luck in the future. Maybe just stay inside.
What’s your worst real life nightmare?
Tell us in the comments.