In the past I never sweat very much. But, two years ago, I developed this weird relationship between social phobia and sweating. The scenario often goes like this:
1. A person approaches me and starts talking
2. I think "Uh oh, I'm locked into a conversation. I hope I'm not sweating."
3. I start feeling a little flushed in the face.
4. I think "I'm sweating!" and of course I start sweating more.
So, the more I worry about sweating in front of people, the more I sweat. It's kind of amazing how it works on cue. Normally, I'd have to play 30 minutes of basketball to break a sweat. But, thanks to this bizarre social phobia, now I can sweat in a matter of seconds.The worst part is that I sweat along my forehead, so it's noticeable. I'd prefer that the perspiration was centralized on my armpits, or my back, or even my hands. But, nope, it has to be my face; the most noticeable part of me. I can help but think that people are taking note of my sweating, and that they're weirded out by it.
I'm generally OK in places that are dark (like bars or concert venues), because it would be harder for the person to see sweat. So, in these places, I feel more relaxed and I stay pretty dry. But I do pretty bad when I think that my sweat would be very noticeable. For instance, I HATE sitting in a dining booth where theres a lamp hanging over the table. I think about how the light would make my sweat noticeable.
I guess that, at its core, I'm overly concerned about seeming weak, awkward, or just plain crazy. The sweating thing just kills me; when I'm not sweating I can be pretty good in conversations, and I love making people laugh. So I hate thinking that I'm missing out on a lot of stuff just because of this ridiculous obstacle. Does anyone have a similar problem? And are there any suggestions about how to deal with it?