I have a hard time relating to people. Its not that I intentionally want to be seen as quiet and weird, it just turns out that way. Its not that I hate people, its just that I find it difficult to connect with others. Most of the time people make me very uncomfortable and, try as I might, there always seems to be this negative energy that makes me feel stupid, useless and inferior. I simply don’t have the confidence to make any sort of presence in a social situation. Ironically, this negative self-programming is a self-fulfilling prophecy in a way, since I will eventually display physical signs of the worthless loser I keep telling myself I am.
Because human beings will always try to avoid unpleasantness, I will always avoid people and social interaction, given a choice. I love my comfort zone. Its boring as hell and most times very depressing, but that’s the price I pay for not having to interact with others. To me, solitude is pleasant and social interaction is uncomfortable – plain and simple.
This attitude doesn’t come without a price, however. After a lifetime of avoidance and seclusion, I find myself ill equipped to deal with any type of social encounter at all. I missed the usual training most people have while growing up. As children, we interact to gain many critical social skills that will be used for the rest of our lives. I missed out. While the other children played together, I hid.
As an adult, I feel ill equipped to handle social encounters. I don’t have good manners. I dont know how to greet people properly. I forget names 30 seconds after being introduced, I cant start conversations, and I panic when someone engages me in a conversation. I don’t have the usual social graces that many take for granted.
Im sure that many people think of me as standoffish. I dont smile at others since I dont know how. I dont greet people warmly because I dont know how. Could they possibly know what I’m going through? I doubt it. I am simply treated the same way that I treat others – aloof, uncaring and business-like. No smile or hint of friendship or camaraderie, just a cold, unfeeling, hows it going?
I would love to be able to have the confidence and skills needed to greet people with a warm smile and engage them in stimulating conversation, but I simply dont have that. Although I am educated and in my 30s, in many ways I feel like a child that has much to learn about the ways of the world.