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It’s not that I don’t like you, my social anxiety is just in full power mode

I read a post by Abby Has Issues about her social interactions with the human race, and she described me perfectly. Sam says I’m a loner, except I associate loners as those people who roll out of bed, wear trench coats, don’t shower, and maybe smoke cigs in a dark alleyway while people text about you behind your back saying, “Walked by THAT creepy guy on campus again. UGH.” I don’t do those things except for the rolling out of bed part.

The idea of going out with a large group of people, especially people I don’t particularly know for hours at a time makes me hesitant. Sam is a little social butterfly and gets along with nearly everyone he talks to, which is a great quality to have. Me on the other hand can barely hold a conversation past, “Oh, I see you like chicken. I like chicken too….” Or when I try to crack a joke that nobody understands, that’s a deal breaker for me. I can usually handle socializing for a couple of hours, but then I start to feel the walls closing in on me. I start fidgeting, twiddling my thumbs and dreaming of the sea of pillows I can dive into on my bed with some Netflix and eating cookie dough with Cheez-Its (it sounds gross but its actually a delicious combo).

I find myself taking shifts in between socializing. I’ll tell Sam that I need to go to the bathroom, but then I just spend 15 minutes upstairs in the quiet of our apartment petting Mumford and browsing through my phone, or searching through the TV channels for Friends or Modern Family. Once I think I’ve been gone too long, I head back out to socialize. I genuinely have a good time socializing, and never regret going out and having fun, but just like Abby, I can only handle a certain amount of time before I just get too tired to continue.

I use the term social anxiety lightly. I know I don’t actually have it because I don’t get nervous or sweat through my shorts just thinking about it. I just prefer to be alone at times, especially when I’m around people all day long, the idea of locking myself in my room with the lights dimmed sounds magical. I really don’t know how I got this way. I used to be a social butterfly myself and constantly attended social gatherings but I just realized none of that really matters to me anymore.

I also can’t ignore my resting bitch face. I have it and I know it. It’s not intentional but everyone always thinks I’m angry. A guy at work walked by and said, “Smile Jess! Smile! Be happy!” I wasn’t unhappy, I was just concentrating on something. This happens all the time. In fact, in college when I walked through campus, I often didn’t wear my glasses, and friends would wave at me only I didn’t recognize them and thought that they were waving at somebody else because they looked like a blob. They would text me later asking if I was mad at them, or if I didn’t like so-and-so because I ignored them on the bus that day.

It’s not intentional. I’m just blind.

So if I randomly leave a group gathering, slip out between the crowd of people and you find me in my living room reading a novel, it’s not that I don’t like you. I just need some space from the overwhelming amount of conversations happening all at once.

Have a great Friday everyone 🙂

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