For an interesting listen, go to the LiveATC archives and download the SYR feed from 20:00, April 6, 2005.
About 10 minutes into the feed, a low-time pilot operating a C172 after sunset becomes very nervous when he cannot (or forgot how to) activate the pilot controlled lights at his home airport just to the west of Syracuse, NY's class C airport. He calls Syracuse ATC, confesses his problem, then asks for extra help in getting vectors to the Syracuse airport. The controller at first gives him standard vectors and phraseology, but the pilot, who was very nervous, asks for more basic help than that.
A few minutes later and with his mind still trembling, this pilot cannot see the SYR airport, despite being only a mile away from it. ATC then offers to send up another aircraft to assist.
You can certainly feel this pilot's tension.