I am shy. People who know me laugh when I say this, because they know me. When I get to know people, they come to think of me as outgoing. Really though, I’m just socially awkward. I’m constantly worried that what I say won’t be liked, or someone will think I’m weird. Don’t get me wrong; I am weird, but I’m weird because I’m socially awkward.
Being around new people gives me this overwhelming amount of anxiety. I try to stand out, but blend. I try to be heard, but not be loud. I end up either being too quiet, or too loud. There’s no in between for me. Then after this meeting of new people I think about everything that I said, should have said, could have said for hours, days even. If someone cracks a joke I’ll suddenly ‘get it’ way too late. If I try to be witty I come off as a jerk, because there’s that figurative line out there, and it’s just not visible to me.
Dating was even worse. I’m quite happily married now, to a man who understands my need to over explain. Who listens to me over analyze my conversations from the day. He listens to me cry because my feelings are hurt. He holds me, he loves me, he accepts me just the way I am. When we first started dating I had no clue how to describe what I felt when I met new people (luckily I had known him for years before we started dating). He’s helped me grow and learn about myself.
Meeting new people doesn’t always bring on a panic attack, confronting people will. Meeting people brings on too much thought. I don’t fit in. I have this strange desire for everyone to like me, despite me saying I don’t care if someone likes me or not. Mom groups are the worst, I’ve never fit in with them, not for lack of trying. Yet the moms at caitlynn’s school are kind and accepting of me, funny how things like that work. I still criticize my actions, but it seems that just being me works.
Funny thing about being me is that I’ve been me my entire life. No one else I would rather be. Anxiety sucks, but it’s me, it’s who I am. I can try to control it, I can let it bother me, or I can roll with it. I don’t do just one of those options, it’s a crazy combination of all of the above. That works for me.