Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

I often find that after I have given a presentation, even if it was successful and well received at the time, I tend to go over the presentation in my mind and think of all the things I should or should not have said. I agonise over the smallest of mistakes or the possible implications of omissions.

I know that it was not my intention to offend or fail to mention something important or to give a wrong impression. But other people could not be expected to know that and would assume that I had done it purposely (with malice aforethought as Intellectual Dabrowski would say).
And so the perceived magnitude of the errors becomes completely out of proportion, making me feel anxious about possible consequences.

So I was not completely surprised to find that Sprite and Retweet were suffering a bout of anxiety after giving their presentation recently. They had realised that they failed to acknowledge the importance of the influence of the Psych Owl Ogist.
It was not even as if the Psych Owl Ogist had been offended.
He had sent a very warm note of congratulations on the success of their presentation.

But the magnitude of the omission had hit them like a physical blow and the Dabrowski Dogs and the Black Dogs gathered round to analyse the situation.

The Perfectionist Poodle, Intellectual Dabrowski and Wistful Black Dog were horrified by the omission of credit for the Psych Owl Ogist and Guard on Duty Black Dog added that there could have been severe repercussions if the Psych Owl Ogist had felt offended and got his feathers ruffled.

Imaginational Dabrowski was trying to think of a way to remedy the omission and publicise the revision without completely devaluing what had really been an excellent presentation.

Wistful Black Dog was in favour of placing the blame on Sprite’s learning difficulties and telling Sprite to Plead the Pink Slipper.
But Sensual Dabrowski did not feel comfortable with doing that; as Sprite had managed to create and present the PowerPoint with poise and confidence (as was obvious in her ability to wear both of her new blue boots for the occasion).
She was certainly not feeling so capable, confident and self assured now!

Psycho Motor Dabrowski was suggesting they should all go outside and bounce as a distraction but SAD Seasonally Affected Black Dog was saying that the sky was grey and it had been raining, making the path slippery. Sprite said she was not feeling up to negotiating any slippery slopes.

To make the mood of the room bleaker Little Bully Black Dog had brought in the newspaper. The Black Hat Thinking Consultant Team, The Pair O’Noids, were discussing news items about the effects of climate change, broken promises from politicians, injustice to the indigenous peoples, and lack of compassion towards refugees, the elderly, the sick and the disadvantaged.  The Pair O’Noids were hinting at conspiracies and a socially engineered return to a feudal system which benefited the rich at the expense of the poor.

Sprite feels unfairness and suffering of others acutely and would like to be able to change all these things.
But, as a child, she does not even know where to begin as the problems seem to be so many and so profound.
In the past she has studied George Orwell’s Animal Farm. And she has set up her toys and friends to stage marches. She has tried to work out how the voting system operates and how it could be improved.

As Leaping Attack Black Dog was threatening to assault Sprite Psycho Motor Dabrowski sprang into action. “Go off and bounce until you can sit down nicely on your HALT mat and behave!” he growled.
Emotional Dabrowski pressed her head against Sprite encouragingly and suggested that serving snacks to everyone might make things look brighter.
And Sprite also found it encouraging that Imaginational Dabrowski was still busy considering what she could do to repair the minor oversight in the presentation and
what other positive actions she could take to make the world a kinder, happier place.

This post is part of the Hoagies Gifted Blog Hop for April 2015.
Find a complete list of links to all the blog hops at

5 thoughts on “Anxiety

  1. I abhor presenting to others and don’t do it particularly well or often so I can sympathize with Sprite and Retweet. I’m just a bit too shy to pull it off well. When I do present, I will later over-analyze it and relive it for all its glaring problems. I wonder if trying to present all sides, all of the time, makes the presentation cloudy and overdone. I’m just wondering if a tighter focus with the barest of nods toward the others might be a good approach. Sometimes things that are massive in scope are over-reaching and the listener can get lost. Sprite and Retweet will inevitably have massive topics to present. They can’t help themselves but see the material in the broadest of terms.

  2. Oh my goodness. I can relate to Sprite. I don’t present often these days but I *always* go over it in my mind and drive myself crazy. Thanks for this!

  3. Great, light-hearted approach to a very serious issue. I have learned to live with all the things I could have done, but didn’t and all the things I did do that were wrong and just hope that people who get to know me, know I have only good intentions. I try to convince myself that if one person learns one thing, I have done okay.

  4. Pingback: Pleading the Pink Slipper | Sprite's Site

  5. Pingback: The year in review 2015 | Sprite's Site

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