You know what sucks?
Being a true extrovert with social anxiety.
I love me some alone-time but my head is really not very healthy without regular social interaction to pull me out of it when things get too crazy. But then I spend so much time freaking out and second-guessing myself when talking to people that truly energizing interactions are few and far between. It’s even worse online: when I can’t immediately clarify things and correct misconceptions in the moment it practically makes my head implode. A friend of mine once described me as psychotically friendly and it’s really quite appropriate: if I think somebody has misinterpreted something I’ve said or done and taken offense where none was intended (and it’s never intended) I can’t rest until I’ve had a chance to explain myself – and sometimes that’s just plum impossible. It’s awful!
You know, there has been research to show that there is a genetic basis to how we interact with each other. There is a subtle body chemistry going on whenever we talk to others that at least partially dictates both how we present ourselves and how we interpret their words and actions. It was really reassuring when I read about this because I’ve often walked away from conversations with people thinking “Why the fuck did I say that?” I could tell it was the wrong thing to say and the wrong way to say it before it even left my mouth but I just couldn’t stop it from coming out. Maybe there is such a thing as fate and for some people my role in their life is to embarrass myself or be the bad guy in a given situation in order to progress their life stories. If so, can I get a better agent?? I’m seriously sick of my chronic foot-in-mouth disease and nothing I ever do seems to shake it.
Maybe I just don’t have thick enough skin for this writing lark. Even writing anonymously it hurts when a comment gets downvoted or well thought out opinion gets trolled and attacked. I’ve always considered myself to be good at taking constructive criticism face to face, but anonymous taunting and ridicule are way harder for me to swallow. I can’t tolerate knowing that someone has a poor opinion of me and being unable to do anything to fix it. I can’t not care about the good opinion of others. Rationally I know how important it is to stay detached and I can see the benefits of being able to shrug off such things but I still really suck at the process. Instead it churns away in my brain and consumes all my energy for days, trying to figure out a way to fix the situation when more often than not a solution just doesn’t exist and all I can do is walk away.
Ah well, onward and upward! I’ll finish with one of my new favourite quotes (which I’m thinking of turning into a cross stitch sampler to hang on a prominent wall somewhere):
I will live in this one, new, beautiful, white canvas of right now and not be afraid to paint all over it with the wild abandon of today.
Grateful always for the gift of tomorrow.
– Lisa-Jo Baker