Saturday, July 29, 2006

Accepting that I have Social Anxiety

Lately I've been unhappy with myself in how social life has been. I'm always on the edge of a few different social circles, never completely immersed in one in particular. I've been characterized as a "ghost" for my tendency to flit in and out of groups and gatherings. I've only very rarely felt like I was completely accepted into a group.

I'm always baffled by how people develop little catphrases and coded language, and can have an instant radar for when someone isn't using them right.

I've always found social events pretty terrifying, often at something like a formal dance I'll find myself out in the hallway hyperventilating and recovering from a panic attack from being in a crowd where everyone was moving around and I seemed to be the only one in everyone's way, not behaving according to the proscribed algorithm.

There are a few different reasons for all of this that I can think of. I'm going to spread out my thoughts about all of this over a few posts, because no one reads long posts and I don't have everything clear about what I want to say right now. but I do have to form into words a statement accepting myself being the way I am right now, and telling myself to not beat myself up over an awkward moment or time when I had to just leave some gathering or other.

The way I interact with the world is, by necessity, fundamentally different from the way most people are able to. This is unavoidable. I know people like to say "I don't notice your handicap" to me, but unfortunatly this isn't an ideal state of affairs. It's part of who I am that I can't recognize you when I pass you in the street. I've probably lost friends or potential close relationships because of some incident where they thought I was slighting them by just walking by, or not going up to them when out some place.

I'm thinking about actually digging out the white cane I have and just carrying it around, not to use but just folded up with the red tip showing as a signal, not to get out of my way, but to understand when I don't make eye contact with you or whatever.

This sort of combines with a fear of rejection and wariness of agressive or overbearing people that came from not having a good social environment in school, and I'm finding developing close friendships rather elusive.

One social misstep by me or someone else towards me that made things awkward has led me to just flee from a whole group of people and start back at square one. It's strange how it's easier to salvage a friendship out of an all-out fight where everything gets aired and exposed and dealt with than it is to overcome a misunderstanding or not meeting someone's image of you.

Anyway, I write about myself because I can't stand the idea of boring someone to death talking about myself in person, so I shouldn't do the same disservice to a bunch of blog readers.

So I think I'll go and see a movie by myself, and maybe go see a show tonight and enjoy myself because I enjoy music, and not be disappointed because I wasn't an integral part of the group socializing that will be happening.

By al - 5:43 PM |

Comments:
*hugs*

I've never been in a close social circle either...always on the edge.

I think that you should move to Moncton. We'll form our own social circle.
 
Here. Lemme put it this way.

Al's social life + handicap > Tuna's non-existent...

Now who's got the handicap? :)

There are certainly folks in this world sans disability that I'm certain have a much bleaker world view than people on this blog.

If everyone subscribed to the "Hey that guy's life is shittier than mine. I guess mine ain't so bad." philosophy, the world would be better off. Well. It'd be better off if we went and helped that guy. I think his name is Ted. Yeah. Ted.

I'm on a commenting streak. Woo.
 
Hey Al... we all have these feelings.. well I do also anyway.. and I assume others do.. we are human..

If you wanna hang some time, let me know.. I like your brain; even if I don't get all your jokes. ;)

Will
 
hey al,
i miss talking to you i am not in the biggest social circle either
your a great guy tho and i wiah we could talk more
 
you are fantastic. who needs to belong to a social circle.

i was thinking, we need to go to interlude soon like we said we would. what do you think? i walked by there friday and thought of this. they have a bubble machine! i'll probably die on the doorstep. have you forgotten the bubble tea incident?
 
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