I often wonder where the line is between introvert and recluse. Because sometimes I’m really worried I’m straddling it.
As a previous post stated, I’m an introvert. I also have a bit of social anxiety, or at the very least I’m incredibly socially awkward, and have no idea how to converse and interact normally. I probably would have been diagnosed on the spectrum had it been as well-known way back when I was a wee lass. Socializing confounds me, and freaks me out.
I spend a fair amount of time alone, when the kids are in school and the man is off doing his workly duties. It doesn’t bother me. I like being alone with my own thoughts. But there tend to be two kinds of thoughts—the pure, knee-jerk emotions, and the tempered, logical ones. Sometimes it feels like there are two different versions of me, and I end up having little “conversations” in my head when I need to figure something out, or make decisions.
I’m not as crazy as this makes it sound.
I’d wager that lots of us have these little mental back-and-forths, many just don’t recognize it because it happens so naturally and quickly. Something happens, and your very first gut reaction is the Emotional Self reacting. Then Logic comes in and either calms that reaction, or is tossed aside as Emotion takes over.
It’s very much like Pixar’s Inside Out, now that I think about it. Except with a lot more swearing.
Anyway, all is not rage and toddler-style tantrums in my head. No, sometimes my Emotional Self tries very hard to keep me from making a ginormous fool of myself. Usually to little success.
Case in point, my social awkardness. I can’t do small talk, or chat with people I barely know. I just can’t. I have no idea what to say, how much detail to divulge, or how much interest to show in topics. Am I coming across as creepy? Stupid? Uninterested? Boring?
This all usually culminates in the train-wreck conversation. You know the type–you start telling a story or explaining something and the other person isn’t interested, and you KNOW they’re not interested, yet you’re invested in whatever you’re yakking about and it would be weird to just stop talking. So you keep talking, hurtling to that inevitable ending when you can finally disengage from this awkwardness and retreat.
Yeah, I’m a master of these. My Logic tells me that I should try to socialize, I should try to interact, yet my Emotional Self is jumping up and down, waving her arms and shaking her head screaming “STOP! FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, ABORT ABORT!!”
Meanwhile, the other person is giving me that polite smile. The one that says “Oh hon. Bless your heart.”
So, yeah. Me and social situations—not a good combo.
I can only hope that my extreme aversion to social settings, as well as my well-honed Resting Bitch Face, will deter any future attempts at small talk and other meaningless conversation.