When it comes to big parties, group activities, overall just any event with a lot of people…count me out. I’m sort of what I like to refer to as a “party pooper”, not in the sense that I want those around me to have a bad time, but rather in the sense that I feel rigidly stiff and uncomfortable around large groups of people. I haven’t been officially diagnosed so I can’t say for sure but I think I have a mild case of social anxiety. While I love spending time with others one on one (and occasionally even two on one) social time in large groups completely drains me. Talking to new person after new person after new person feels exhausting! It’s a blur of attempting to remember names (I never do), forcing myself to talk to people I have no interest in talking to and just feeling really really awkward (can everyone please avert their eyes while I go sit alone in the corner). I know the best way to move past my fear of social situations is to immerse myself in them…and I’m trying. In fact…I have been trying since I was roughly 12 years old. From cheerleading camp, to joining a sorority, to club meetings, parties, conferences and now living in a frat…I attempt to push myself outside of my comfort zone on a very very regular basis.
A few days ago I had a bit of a mental breakdown while at a pool party. Seems a bit dramatic as there were the two essentials necessary for any mermaid’s happiness: sunshine and water. Yet, I was so uncomfortable among all the other guests even though no one was being mean or even unfriendly I just felt out of place and incredibly awkward. About an hour and a half in I sort of just snapped, I felt so alone even though I was surrounded by cheerful party goers. I stepped away from the crowd, laid out a towel and reverted into myself. I asked myself why I even kept putting myself in these situations that just made me feel bad about myself? Why did I feel the need to keep pushing myself upon people who clearly had little to no interest in befriending me? I felt frustrated and fed up.
Luckily my best friend was there to swoop in and comfort me during my minor mental break down. She let me scream and rant and eat ice cream and a root beer float at the same time. I don’t know how to feel comfortable in crowds, or why I’m not the best at making friends but I do know a root beer float and rant sesh with my red headed other half can always make me feel better.
P.S. If anyone wants to create a blog (slash guide to life) on how to not be socially awkward, I will be your biggest supporter!