I work in a job that requires me to regularly attend training sessions. I often find myself wedged into a room with up to thirty other people whom I have never met before. I am a fairly confident person, but at times I can be really shy. My most shy moments are often at the beginning of training sessions when we embark on ‘The Slow Death’.
‘The Slow Death’ can be as simple as ‘introduce yourself to the room’. As you watch each person do what is asked of them, some with extreme confidence, some who look like they would like the ground to swallow them whole, you know it won’t be long before it’s your turn. The slow death has begun.
This may not be something that everyone can empathise with. All I can say is that if you don’t then you’re lucky. I hate it when my heart races, my palms go sweaty, my throat dries and I feel like I might be sick.
Some of the other slow death experiences that I have encountered are, ‘pick a postcard from the pile on a table that most describes why you are here and then share it with the room’ – This was horrible. I’ve also had, ‘tell the group three things about yourself’ – I don’t even want to tell them one let alone three! However, my least favourite thus far has to be, ‘introduce to person next to you to the room’ – This one made me feel like I was going to hurl.
It seems like a standard procedure for training sessions that I attend and makes me dread each and every one until the slow death has passed. It’s a shame really because the learning experience is normally incredibly beneficial.
As for coping with these feelings I have a few things that work for me. The first is deep meditative breathing, which is good for feeling calm. Another tip is not to have too much food in your stomach so if you do feel sick it doesn’t feel as bad.
Next time you have a training session and embark on the slow death know that you have my sympathy, and that probably half of the room feel as uncomfortable as you do at that moment.