Socially Inept

26 Dec


Got some free time? Check. Got some spare money in your pocket? Check. Interested in exploring different cities? Check. Go grab some companions and go! Oh erm… Uncheck.

Hi, I am Charlie and I am socially inept. What do I mean by this? Well I just seem unable to deal with most social interactions normally, rather awkward when it comes to social etiquettes and customs. Not to the extent where I won’t leave my room but it can be highly uncomfortable in a lot of social situations. It can be rather irritating especially when you feel like it is holding you back from things that you want to do. I don’t think I have always been this way, but I do believe it is a by product of being an only child.

As a child I had a very dominant personality, and for some reason my friends chose to buy into this hierarchical friendship, which made me ring leader that got her own way and not a very pleasant one either. As teenage years approached I had a similar personality however people weren’t as keen to put me on a pedestal.  This quickly made me aware of the judgement of others. I didn’t exactly feel the social anxiety at the time but I was very avoidant of certain social situations. I liked and still liked the company of those I know, I and still am not very keen on getting to know new people. I didn’t know why at the time, my friends that did put up with me, simply thought I was blunt and rude, and at the time, I assumed that was what it was. As time went on my friends eventually made larger social circles, while mine dwindled. I decided to put myself out there and go to a university in another city where no one I knew was going, and hoped that this would force me to be more social, and it did, I tried but it didn’t feel right, I felt highly uncomfortable. Eventually I only made two close friends and the others remained associates. I went out and all the rest but my problem is not with social activity, but with making genuine friendships.

My problem with getting to know people is not as a result of a lack of effort, I don’t actually know how to explain it but I either click with people or I don’t. If I do not click with someone initially I know I will always feel slightly uncomfortable and have to make a forced effort around them. I can’t consider someone my friend unless I feel at ease around them, where there isn’t a need for fake small talk, which I find really hard to do. Making friendships isn’t as simple as getting to know someone. If I don’t “click” with someone, my mind goes blank, nothing goes through my head and I panic, I end up asking random uncomfortable questions, and if a question is posed to me I can only respond in one word answers. People perceive this as being rude, but I genuinely can’t help it, I can only see the blunt answer in my mind. Knowing that they are thinking this, I begin to notice the awkward silences and gaps in conversations which makes me feel urgent need to escape. Its not often that I feel comfortable talking to someone, even those I have known for years, if I don’t remain in regular contact it can often feel like I’m getting to know someone again, with the same awkwardness, but as they are one of the “clickity” people things eventually are ok. Although it is difficult for me to maintain relationships, it is a lot easier to cut people off than make the effort to keep the friendship alive.

I don’t have a close relationship with my family members including my parents, so as odd as it sounds I feel this slight awkwardness around them, even family gatherings. I like being at social events just as long as I’m not required to talk too much, and an escape route is available. My friends I have known for years think that I am strange for still feeling awkward around their parents. Oddly I don’t seem to have the same issue around men in the most part. Making myself sound like a flirtatious vixen now haha, I find them to be less judgemental, if I mess up or act like a complete idiot, they don’t really care. Particularly if they are making the effort in the conversation, I guess if someone likes you they are more willing to lead the conversation, and probably take my behaviour as playing hard to get. Although I dislike phone conversations with anyone, I have unlimited calls on my phone contract and I think the only people I call are my mum and maybe one or two friends that I feel comfortable talking to. Which is why I love the internet, oh social media I do love you! The ability to take your time to think of a response and keep in touch with people is so helpful, as this isn’t something I find easy to do in a general sense

I’d love to be able to be more social, I do feel restricted because there are things I would like to do with company; such as travel and going out. I have grown accustomed to doing things by myself because it feels more comfortable than having to ask someone, but it is lonely and depressing. I try to push myself, but I know I am different, and though in a sense I don’t care, I get anxiety thinking people will think I’m boring or odd. The way someone who doesn’t know me would describe me is very different to someone who does, but I know I can’t be myself with people initially. I do have my moments if I’m with people I am used to where I can act normal and totally disregard the uncomfortability of new people, so I’m not a complete social wreck, but I do need a lot of work. Just really unsure of how to get over this hurdle. I partly feel like I am wasting my youth, when I could be enjoying this time rather than having to stop myself and think, I’ve got nobody to go with. The lonely life of the unsociable.

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