….Reliving something you did over a week ago and thinking of how badly you messed up. Realizing that there is no way you can ever, under any circumstances see those people again, only to remember that you work with them. Therefore, you pretend that everything is fine, all the while dying a little on the inside every time you talk to them.
It is not knowing whether or not you should wave to the guy that passed you while you are walking, so you freak out and do a half wave that you try passing off as scratching your face…
It is kind of like not knowing traffic etiquette. Forget actual laws, do you let the guy at the stop sign go first? Do you go? Now you are both going? Now you’re both stopping! Insert a match in the gas tank… that is the only thing left to do. You are in traffic – you see cop waiting to merge into traffic…do you let him out? Well what if he thinks that you are only letting him out because he is a cop? But you are just being nice. Of course you let him out but now you have to do the thing where you tell him you are letting him out and you do this silly arm dance with a crazed smile for good measure.
At a crosswalk waiting for the light with another person. Do you say hi? Ignore them? Comment on the weather? Thank God for smartphones. Same goes for elevators or just about anywhere when you are alone with some for an awkward amount of time.
Checkout lines! What is the cashier thinking about your purchases! It makes you never want to go our shopping again! Self-checkout was invented by someone with social anxiety! Ordering food. I swear me ordering food goes something like this:
I over analyze and prepare what I am going to say the entire way up to the counter…”Tall blond with a little room…tall blond with a little room…tall blond with a little room…” I get to the counter…”Um could I please um let’s see I guess oh right okay I think I will have um (insert hand gesture) a small blond hot blond coffee do you mind leaving some room for cream?Thankyousomuch” *Drops wallet, knocks over display, runs into little old lady.*
Speaking of displays, how many of you have apologized to a display or other inanimate object when you run into it? Only to have an actual person look at you like you have two heads! Me too!!
Last week we had a staff party and the game that we did was moderated by yours truly. By all accounts it went okay but as I was walking this morning I realized that I probably should have done the game a different way. Now I am concerned that the entire staff thinks I am wacko. I mean of course they do but more than they did before. This is what it is like living with social anxiety.
Being socially awkward and having social anxiety is manageable when you learn to laugh at yourself, not take yourself to seriously…and avoid speaking or even being in social situations. I have actually taken to deliberately making an ass of myself just to make it seem normal. So when I do screw up people are like “Ha that is just Mindy being funny” Yep I meant to trip over the chair, into the water cooler, and knock over the coffee display….all part of my plan.
Now having a kid makes you need to be social. Usually, again, I can manage. “hey little Timmy was amazing – kay bye”
It has hard to being a parent who not only has social issues but generally enjoys being home…alone…with my books. Forcing myself to have other people around, even children, is hard. It is one of those things that you just don’t think about when you think of things you have to do when you have kids. Going to after school activities, even picking them up can be a challenge. I am always concerned I am going to say something wrong or do something wrong. We went to his open house and I had to wait to see how everyone else was sitting before I did…I didn’t want to ask any questions…When we go to his Cody’s concerts I try to be as unobtrusive as possible. I was actually proud of myself for being a mystery reader last year AND signing up to do it again this year…see I am getting better at it. No really I am…