Sunday, September 27, 2015

Social Anxiety Wins

"Hi! My name is Ashley and I have social anxiety."

Just kidding.  If Social Anxiety Sufferers Anonymous were ever to become a thing, it would crash and burn because maybe 1/3 of the participants would force themselves to attend meetings.  The rest would feign illness or show up and hide in the bathroom.

I wish I knew when social interaction began causing anxiety for me. I think it was middle school.

Growing up I had a lot of female friends, but the older I got and the more hormones started cruising through my body and the body of all the little girls around me the more we seemed to despise each other. Puberty seemed to make the glittering world of sisterhood and tie-dyed girl power a war zone of jealousy.

I don't have a large group of friends.  I don't even have a large social network.  About twice a year something comes over me and I remove people from my Facebook "Friends" because one of my greatest fears is that I will die and people who haven't had a conversation with me in over a decade will show up at my funeral.  Seeing people show up at a funeral with big emotional outbursts and flashy grieving is what I consider to be the highest forms of insult to both the deceased and the people who actually had a close relationship with them.  When I die, I hope only the people who actually gave a shit while I was alive show up (if anyone bothers, that is).

The last time I forced myself to attend a social function, I made the mistake of going alone when I only knew the hosts.  I ended up standing next to the pool, eating mashed potatoes from a plastic martini glass and fighting back lonely, awkward tears.

I'm not usually lonely.  I enjoy my own company.  It's only when I attempt to be social in ways other people deem acceptable that I find myself feeling awkward and lonely.

1 comment:

  1. I feel you. I have very few actual friends, and even then, I talk to them every so often. The extent of my social interaction is sitting outside our apartment building with the kids, or having a fire in our pit with usually just Brian, or sometimes the couple we consider "friends" in our building, and it's mostly drinking because, well, it almost helps making the awkward silence and listening to them chat over what's on their cell phone screens that they're nose deep into, less awkward.