I have serious social anxiety.
Like, I usually want to run away. I'm better in small groups. Probs why I like the raising a glass with friends part of the con versus OMG the crowds... The thought process goes something like this: Why am I here? No one wants me here. They're tolerating me to be nice. I'd better go so they can have some real fun. I don't know what to say. I'm not funny enough. I'm dressed weird. I hate my hair. Why can't I be cool like them?
It's better now that I know social anxiety is a thing. Before that it was because I was shy, antisocial, weird, mean, and wrong. Oh, and it was all my fault. It would help if I'd be nicer. That was what I thought until I read that other people actually freak out and want to run away in crowds of people, that not everyone knows what to say, that even some of the people I think are awesome in social situations sometimes feel that same way, and yes, some of us do better than others.
Toastmasters helps a LOT. TM makes you practice not only public speaking, but leading and socializing, too. I fully recommend checking out a local club (mine is Boise Club) if running away screaming seems like the appropriate thing to do when faced with a bunch of strangers or even a bunch of friends.
Having a home base helps, too. If it totally sucks, I can always head back to the Kenzer booth. I can't thank them enough for this. It's like a temporary fort. Also, its familiar, not only because Kenzer, but Retail. That's something I understand. That's the best answer I can give for why the hell I'd take vacation and travel across the country to help out at this booth. When the con socializing gets scary, there is this safe place where I can do what I know.
I heart you, booth.
And I'm grateful I'm allowed to hang out there when I know that they are working and I hope I help more than I get in the way.