I have always been quite sure that I have some sort of social anxiety disorder. I hate going to parties unless I know everyone there, I can only muster up the courage to go to a bar if I've had something to drink and even small social gatherings can be intimidating. Often times I would much rather stay in with a book, my computer and folding laundry.
"If I had my life to live over, I would perhaps have more actual troubles but I'd have fewer imaginary ones. ~Don Herold"
I know that much of the fear that I experience is imagined. People are usually much too preoccupied with themselves to give a damn about what I'm wearing, what I say or how I behave. However, I can't help feeling as if every eye is on me (and not in the good way). I know that the main reason I panic when in social situations is my low self esteem. Despite all that I have accomplished in my life, if I am at a party I immediately revert to feeling like the fat goody two shoes that I was in high school.
"Wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weights you down." ~Toni Morrison
I think that is why I continue to strive to be an interesting person, trying new things and not settling into a pattern or routine, I desperatley want to be an interesting person! Someone that others gravitate towards, someone that people talk about (in a good way) once the party is over, someone that people want to introduce to their other friends. I work hard to be that kind of person but despite how many life experiences that I have under my belt...if I don't have the confidence to talk about them...what's the use?
"The fear of being laughed at makes cowards of us all." ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
In my research about social anxiety disorder, I found that most sufferers were painfully shy...which I am clearly not. I think that it is odd that I have absolutely no problem making a fool out of myself in front of people I will never see again and I have no problem making a fool of myself in front of friends and close family but....when it's an acquaintance, a new friend or a prospective romantic partner...trouble. Usually what ends up happening (if I haven't avoided the potential situation) is that I turn into a bitch. I act like I'm too cool or I am mean to the person that is causing me to feel inadequate. Often times this person is just an innocent bystander who hasn't even given me a second thought since I appeared at the party or bar. Or, alternatively it is some poor person who has made the mistake of being nice to me which I automatically interpret as an attack (especially if it's a guy...at the bar...and there are drinks involved). How messed up am I that this is my first response? I'm like a porcupine...as soon as there is any movement BAM the quills shoot up.
Usually by the end of my enteries I have come to some sort of conclusion or realization but in this case I continue to be confused and frustrated with my behavior. Should I force myself to go outside of my comfort zone? Probably. Or should I just keep telling myself that if someone really wants to get to know me they will do it on my terms in a way that I do not find threatening? That doesn't seem realistic, does it?
*sigh* If anyone has any tips for me...