Friday, April 23, 2010

social anxiety

So I know that it's Friday and that I normally post LOLcats today but.. that'll have to wait until tomorrow. Sorry Hucko, I know that you look forward to them every week.

Want to know a secret? You probably wouldn't ever have guessed it but I hate, hate, hate meeting new people. Whenever I'm on my own and with a group of strangers, I feel as though I've been thrown into the lion pit. My heart pounds uncontrollably, my hands shake a bit and my back sweats. Hot, right? And not only that, I talk. More than usual. More than is comfortable or socially acceptable. It's almost as though there are a certain amount of words that need to be spoken in that time frame and if other people aren't going to use them, then damnit I will! And then the stories begin, and the jokes, and sometimes I talk about weird stories from my blog and it's all my freakish way of trying to win over the crowd.

I guess that's a weird anxiety to have, and one that most people wouldn't expect from me since, you know, MY JOB IS ALL ABOUT TALKING TO STRANGERS. My last big event was in Palo Alto and I was a ball of nerves. I walked in back room looking for hangers, sweating profusely and indwardly freaking about who to ask, and walked out twenty minutes later to the owner telling me that she loved me and wanted to cater my figurative, very in the future, wedding. I think I even received a few hugs from the wait staff on my way out. I'm warm! I'm personable! So why, oh why, do I feel like vomiting in these situations?

So there's this running group that meets every Saturday. Super relaxed, they do a few different distances and then all reconnect and do a potluck-type breakfast. I've been aware of this group for months and months. Why haven't I gone? Because I'd basically rather pluck every hair off my body one at a time rather than show up alone. But.. I think I'm going to do it. I think I'm going to go to the run tomorrow. I'm going to tell myself to SHUT THE HELL UP when I feel like crying, and I'm going to let myself sweat like a beast but I AM GOING TO RUN.

That's it. That's all I wanted to talk about. Continue on with your Friday night, I'm going to be here eating peanut butter out of the container with my finger. As you were..

6 comments:

Elizabeth said...

I think you'll be great!! And no worries for lack of LOLcats! Makes me more excited for next week, OWWOWW!
Aaaaaand I'll be on my couch, putting cool whip in icecream cones....genius eh? I'm so single.

Michelle said...

I am so socially anxious. Not socially awkward, because, like it sounds with you, I'm actually cute and fun and bubbly when I KNOW YOU, but when I don't, it's terrifying.

Dori said...

I am just like you only instead of talking I become unable to form words. Simple questions such as "How are you" completely throw me for a loop!

Good luck tomorrow -- I'm scared of things like that too. Sometimes you just have to push yourself and do it and then the next time, you will have met people so you will know someone!

Jessica said...

I would have never guessed it! I find myself doing the same thing, so I know how you feel. Alcohol helps, but I'm pretty sure you don't want to do that before a run...or do you? Ponder.

Nik said...

I used to have problems with this too. I was terrified to go places alone or to meet new people. And I still get anxiety on occasion . . . but there were two things that really helped me. The first was mindful meditation--all about living in the moment, relaxing, yoga, that sort of thing. A good book that kinda changed my life was "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle. Anyway, the second thing (and I always do this) is telling myself that people can acutally SEE confidence. Even if you have to fake it a little. You gotta just tell yourself that you are confident and strong and that people are either gonna like you or they aren't. And what are the ones that don't gonna do? Are they gonna scream at you? So what. They will look dumb. Also, they can't take your birthday away. Even just repeating the word "confidence" in my head when I get anxious helps.

I hope this helps a little, ya strong, independent chica!!

PS No worries about the LOL cats. They are always a funky suprise!!!

j. said...

ebeth - the lolcats this friday are going to be epic! just for you.

dori - you're right, sometimes you do have to push yourself. i'm glad i went. i didn't really make any friends but at least i didn't throw up!

jessica - i thought about it and did consider having a quick beer before i left but i decided to just go sober and see how it turns out.

nik - i'm going to look into that book, sounds interesting! and thanks for the tips, i'm definitely going to think of that next time i get that queasy, sweaty feeling!