Maybe I’m Just Too Socially Awkward For Everyone

While reading a survey question yesterday something became crystal clear. I’ve been denying it, even to myself, for awhile now. It is that I do in fact avoid most all social interaction outside my immediate family. The question asked how much time I spend per week with friends.

What friends?

My answer was none. I even shy away from family gatherings.

Speaking quite candidly, I’ve always told myself it is because most people just don’t get me. I’ve always said they just aren’t worth the effort.

The truth is I just don’t get most people. Social interaction drains me. I’m constantly trying to fit in or hide the fact that I’m afraid someone will figure out I don’t belong. It’s led to being ostracized in some circles I’ve desperately wanted to be a part of. I struggle to hide myself behind a persona I don’t wear well.

It’s pathetic, I know but there it is. There’s the truth.

If you’re familiar with different types of anxiety you’ll recognize these traits as classic social anxiety. It’s common among people with Bipolar Disorder. It makes me appear awkward and aloof to everyone. I was once told someone I considered a friend didn’t trust me. He came right out and told me to my face. The statement bruised me. I could see where he was coming from though. Somehow people can usually sense when something is being concealed.

He failed to realize I’m one of the most trustworthy and loyal people he will ever meet. I suppose I tried too hard. I tried to be someone I’m not. I felt weird – rejected. It validated my reasons for feeling I’m just no good in social situations. It just pushed me deeper into isolation. I’ve always said if I could be a hermit, I would.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy my own company but I know it’s not good to isolate myself all the time. The longer I do it, the more my avoidance tendencies grow. I’m comfortable around my children and my husband and that’s about it. I even feel weird around my parents and in-laws. I don’t want to be a disappointment.

I’m always so concerned with what others think of me. I overanalyze everything – every facial expression and every word – until I convince myself my fears are true. It’s the fear of sticking out like a sore thumb. The only way I can describe it is if everyone else is green, I’m the red one in the room. I am a chameleon but it’s tiring trying to match everyone else.

It’s easier to just avoid everyone.

There are times, though they are few and far between, that I do feel like being social. My anxiety has left me with few friends so even when I want to interact, there’s really no one to talk to. I don’t do well putting myself out there. The fear of rejection is just too strong.

I know it’s a problem I need to address. I need to step outside my comfort zone and let people see the real me.

But it’s easier said than done. 

9 Comments Add yours

  1. AnxiousMother says:

    OMG Thank you!! I am socially weird and it is because of my anxiety. I say something then spend way too much time trying to explain what I meant and then even more time wondering if I did something wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You hit the nail on the head.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. AnxiousMother says:

        I discuss my anxiety and the stigma around anxiety as well as some coping mechanism I found useful on my blog

        Like

      2. Thanks. I will give it a read.

        Like

      3. AnxiousMother says:

        Awe thank you so much. I feel the more we all talk about mental health the better chance we have to break the stigma

        Liked by 1 person

  2. fishrobber says:

    I understand how you feel. I avoid people at work, I avoid family sometimes, but I still have to put on a face that won’t embarrass me too much in front of other people. I want more friends, but it is so painful to be near people. I don’t think having social anxiety is pathetic, although I have felt that way at times. Ugh.

    Like

    1. That’s what I was trying to say too. 😉 it leaves you feeling defeated.

      Like

  3. So true…at least for me…well said…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nat says:

    It really is easier said than done. I have had repeated failures for this whole week with social interactions, even with stuff like I’m going to a event to volunteer and it isn’t a prequisite to go there and socialize but I still feel scared I won’t look like a “team player” because I’m too quiet or uncomfortable. And that is the exact opposite of how I want to act but the strain of smiling and asking people questions to get to know them is terrifying.

    I think you are so lucky to at least be comfortable around your immediate family. I can’t say I am like that with mine. I feel seriously uncomfortable and avoidant, in that I don’t want to talk or bring up certain topics to them. I loath extended family gatherings where it feels like people I rarely ever see suddenly want to ask me this and that about my life.

    Liked by 1 person

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