Socially Awkward

Saturday night Ryan called me on his way home and asked if I wanted to go to a friend’s house-warming/belated birthday party.

It was 7:30 PM, rainy, I had attended Zumba in the morning and cleaned all day, and to that point had not showered (gross, I know but I was totally going to take one before I went to bed!!!)

I could tell by his tone he wanted to go, but he did not want to stay long due to having a long day at work and having to go back in the morning.

“I just want to go over for an hour, drop off a bottle of wine and congratulate them.”

I kind of panicked, because he would be home soon, I take about 45 minutes to get ready and I am absolutely scared of being around large groups of my peers.

*Not to mention I kept thinking, “oh my gosh what about snack..I am going to be up past my bedtime…what if I don’t wake up and have enough time to exercise….”

I wasn’t always like this. In high school I was in a ton of clubs, had a lot of friends, and maintained a pretty good facade of self-confidence, but overall I didn’t hate myself the way I do now.

So in an effort to get back to a more fulfilling life, I ran upstairs and started the primping process.

I cleaned myself up, but changed my outfit about six times because Ryan helped me realize some of my clothing just doesn’t look so good right now, which caused more anxiety because I just did not LOVE what I was wearing. (Seriously? Big deal.)

When we got there, a ton of cars lined the street.

Take a deep breath, take a deep breath, get out of the car and smile.

I shouldn’t have worried so much because these were all people we grew up with, many of which ironically work at our high school with me, so my insecurities were obviously what was playing into the mental over-drive.

When we walked in the gathering was pretty lively, with lots of beer, food, laughs; normal twenty-something year old fun, and I made my way through the crowd right behind my husband, searching for the host.

She was really busy and I shouldn’t have bothered but I said happy birthday a few times without a response. She didn’t purposefully ignore me but my mind used this as an opportunity to tell me what a loser I was.

Then I found another girl who is actually married to Ryan’s best friend, and I started to get comfortable chatting. She has always put my mind at ease and we have a lot in common, as she also struggles, and our dad’s known one another, so conversation seems easy. It isn’t forced or fake, it just seems “normal.”

When she moved on I sought out a teacher at my school who I really like and have a lot of fun with when we chaperone things together or just have discussions in passing.

She too, makes me feel comfortable, but after a brief few moments I accidentally brought up a work issue that definitely could have waited until monday to be resolved.

Ugh, why couldn’t we just keep talking about facials and massages?! What was the purpose of talking dollar figures and school supplies?!

And then there was a long pause and Ryan thankfully swooped in to talk about the Final Four.

I wont bore you with a drawn out explanation of the next forty-five minutes, but the point is, I feel like a social-idiot.

When you are in kindergarten, you are placed in a classroom with a bunch of other kids. The close quarters make it near impossible not to find SOMEONE to play with.

In secondary education, you have clubs, sports, classes, extracurriculars, multiple places to meet people with similar interests. You may not love the person sitting next to you in home room, but there are other avenues that encourage camaraderie and fraternization.

In the adult world things are a little different.

Of course work provides time to establish relationships; a person could join a group for a specific hobby or participate in activities that introduces them to potential buddies, but it just feels so difficult sometimes.

I don’t think this is the case for everyone.

It was evident last night that there are a great deal of people my age who can simply have a great time just being together.

But if your mind is constantly worrying and anxious about what other’s think, berating yourself for one reason or another, and repeating how boring you are; it makes it pretty hard to just put yourself out there.

If you couple that, with an immense lack of trust (this is a whole nother post entirely) it makes for a very lonely existence.

BUT I think the only way to get more comfortable, and enjoy yourself, is to be who you are, believe that that person is worthy, and relax.

None of these things are easy, but as I have said many times before; nothing worth doing ever is.


11 thoughts on “Socially Awkward

  1. I know how you feel! I have always felt awkward around people my own age. You’re right though, just being yourself is the best way to conquor this! I’ve found the more authentic I am, the more comfortable I feel around others. Have a good week!

    • I always thought you had really interesting things to say when we were in college. In fact, I was just thinking the other week when you left me a very sweet, much appreciated comment, that I wish I would have gotten to know you better back then! I think we are pretty cool being ourselves, so lets just stick to that 🙂

  2. Okay, so I literally JUST had this conversation (with my mom. like the mature adult i am). I’m still fine on the friends front because I’m still in a university setting part of the time, but once I graduate, I seriously have no idea how to make friends. I’ve always actually had a big social group–I’m an extrovert, and I was “popular” (whatever that means) in school and involved at college, but they’re all settings that, like kindergarten, are basically set up for making friends. But how on earth do adults make friends? I seriously don’t understand how it works…especially since I’m not into drinking and I’m not part of a “couple”.


    • Being an adult is really no fun sometimes. the hardest part for me is feeling like I have so many different interests from people my age, which makes me feel like an “outcast.” but then I reframed and told my husband last night I am proud that I like to travel, get up early and be productve, participate in cultural activities rather than pound coors light at a bar. and read books that arent for a class. none of those things are bad, just maybe less common for a 24 year old. Oh well!!! PS I would totally be your friend haha it sounds like we have a whole bunch in common 🙂

      • seriously! i love all your activities. and I KNOW there are other people out there who would be our grown-up friends…where are they hiding?!

  3. Great job pushing yourself to do this! I have this same problem, I get really socially anxious. I have just realized that if I make myself go, I always have fun and it gives me a much better perspective on life for a few days afterward! So I’m getting a lot better at it.

    • It is so sad that so many AWESOME people I know have this problem. It seems to be those who have the most to offer that feel so self-concious! I am glad you are getting better at putting yourself out there. The only thing that stinks about the blog world is i “meet” so many cool friends that I rarely get to see in person!!!

  4. I actually relate to this post a lot!

    Being a med student i am obviously surrounded with medical people all day long and my best friends are obviously fellow medical students. I have actually had the absolute hardest time fitting in at church, which is crazy because you would think that would be the easiest place to fit in. Everyone is nice of course, but most of the girls my age are married with babies. So then I try to hang with the college kids which is just awkward because I’m not in college and not into the whole bar/club/party scene. This 4 years has truly been the first time in my life that i feel like all of my friends are exclusively from one group (med school) and i am hoping that as I move onto residency in a new city i will be able to change this. I think this is why i love the blog world so much because i feel like I fit in better with the people. Of course i’d probably fit in better if i had my own blog, but I doubt that will ever happen.

    But anyways.. just to let you know that non-ED folks struggle with this too. Thanks for being so open and honest as always!

    • thats why i love the blog world too! because i feel like everyone is so inclusive and on the “same page.” sometimes i wish the relationships i made via blogging werent just in the virtual world because of people like you who seem so fabulous and sweet, but it does give me faith that there are definitely great friends to be made out there!

  5. Oh, I could have written this! I’m so shy and awkward. I’ve really hidden behind my husband in social situations over the years. Him being gone has really pushed me to come out of my shell.*

  6. I am with you on this! Except I wasn’t always a social butterfly to begin with and was always most comfortable with a small, close-knit group of friends rather than a ton of friends and lots of parties and constantly doing something with someone. I was always more of an introvert. But obviously, my ED made me SO socially withdrawn because I would get angry if I even had to consider doing something outside of my new “norm” since it would mean a break in my safe routine and possibly a bazillion extra calories.

    Well, now that I’ve been doing quite well in recovery and have definitely tried putting myself more out there to meet people and enjoy life as a way to prove how worth it recovery is, I’ve realize that even though I usually manage to have a good time, I just KNOW I am soooo socially awkward. And that makes me pretty sad and I am able to pick up on it quite quickly so I tend to kind of beat myself up for DURING as well as after the situation.

    And you know what I think it is? Regardless of how far I’ve come, I think that the ED still lingers… not only in trying to make me (or us — you and me) feel like we’re not worth it or we’re losers, but in making us FEAR the things like “This is going to be past my bedtime… what about snacks? What if I’m hungry and there are no safe foods?” Those thoughts aren’t as prominent as before, but I feel like they still contribute to my not being able to entirely focus on the event/situation at hand because I still have those annoying, illogical fears.

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