Seth Godin, on the anxiety (and excitement) of being around unfamiliar people:
Is there anything more frightening than showing up (really showing up) in the place where you are unknown and alone?
All our warning systems are on high alert. From an evolutionary perspective, strangers represent danger. They are not only a direct threat, but carry the risk of rejection and all the insecurity that comes with it.
I felt a great deal of nervousness when I went to Beard Bash last month.