The Cold Penguin

expanding the box

Confessions of an introvert

on March 3, 2014

I have a confession.  I completely and 100% failed my challenge for this past week.

The whole week I had the internal debate going on in my head.  I knew I needed to get out and meet new people.  I knew that this step would help guide me in the right direction.  Going to this event may or may not have led to a friendship, but it definitely would have led to a feeling of accomplishment and another strike at my social anxiety.

I would give myself pep talks.  It’s just for a few hours – and you get to eat so at least there’s something to do to feel less awkward!  It’ll be good for you to get out among other women.  It will feel good to do this.  And if you don’t like it, you don’t have to go again!  It’s no big deal!

Then I would counter my pep talks with thoughts that plague me every time I’m in or about to be in a social situation:

  • I have nothing in common with these people and therefore will have nothing to say to them.
  • With my quiet nature, I will easily blend into the background so they won’t miss me if I’m not there.
  • There will be nobody there my age – they will all be way younger or way older than me (thus going back to comment #1)
  • I don’t drink and if they do, then that may pose a problem.  (A note on this: I don’t drink due to preference.  I do not care at all if anyone else chooses to drink.  It doesn’t make me uncomfortable.  But the fact that I don’t drink tends to make other people uncomfortable.  I don’t know why, but it does.)
  • I won’t know what to say and just make a fool of myself.
  • Nothing good will come from this and it’ll be two hours of me being uncomfortable and I’ll feel like a fool for quite a while afterwards (reliving it over and over again in my mind).  Then that will scare me away from ever trying something social again.

introvert

The counter’s one on this event.  I backed out a few hours ahead of time.  I did change my RSVP.  The old me would have just not shown up.  So that’s growth, maybe?

I had a hunch I wouldn’t go because I never told my husband about it.  I didn’t tell him, because if I didn’t want to go I didn’t want him to want to talk about why, thus resulting in me feeling bad for not going.  (He would only be trying to help, but it always makes me feel a bit loser-ish to be fearful of these things so it does tend to create bad feelings about myself.)

Did I learn something from this experience?  Yes, a few things.

  • I need to make sure I’m going to a social group where I know I’ll have something in common with them – perhaps a fitness group (running, walking, hiking, etc.) or a book club.  That will erase the “what will we talk about?” fears.
  • I need to commit myself fully by telling my husband.  Let him know I’m nervous but that I’m going to try to do it.  I may back out but he doesn’t need to force me or encourage me to go.  That way the awkward conversation if I don’t go, won’t happen.
  • Don’t take anything personally if I do go to an event and it doesn’t go well.  This will be difficult.  But I need to remember it.  And I need to let my husband in on this fear so he’ll be aware of the possible aftermath.  Though I don’t want to freak him out, just inform him.
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3 responses to “Confessions of an introvert

  1. healthaddict00 says:

    You’ll get there! Just keep on trying.

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