The Thoughts Of My Anxious Mind

I’ve always struggled with social situations. While I think I’ve gotten better, it can still be difficult for me, especially if there’s a lot of people (1 or 2 feels like my optimum). I like to think that, on the outside, I put on a pretty good ‘social butterfly’ costume but I know there are times where I’ve felt the wings have fallen off.

Regardless of how well stitched my butterfly costume is, there is a constant internal dialogue I have with myself every time. It may or may not go something like this:

  • Alright. I can do this. I CAN do this.
  • Just get out there and say hello.
  • I’ve got this… I’ve totally got thi-… gosh, there’s a lot of people over there.
  • They’re all talking to each other so normally.
  • I can do that too. I’ll go join them and-
  • They look like they’re having such a good conversation with each other.
  • I don’t want to interrupt them.
  • But now I’m over here by myself, loitering.
  • You know what? Maybe I should just leave.
  • No I won’t. I’ll just… stand here and soak up the atmosphere.
  • Ohmygosh, someone’s talking to me.
  • It’s okay! Act normal. Be yourself.
  • But ‘myself’ is awkward and has no idea how to talk.
  • Just say something. Anything. People forget small talk anyway.
  • Yes! I said something!
  • I’m being too quiet. I should say more.
  • Great! I said more stuff!
  • Okay now I’m talking too much. I’ll ask a question.
  • Awesome, I asked a question.
  • This person has such an interesting answer. I wish I could answer things like that.
  • Wait, they’re talking about something I haven’t heard of now.
  • I should ask them more about that.
  • That requires too many syllables and I might stumble.
  • “That’s pretty cool”? Why did I say that? What a standard response.
  • Come on, say something interesting.
  • Yeah! I said something interesting!
  • I think it was interesting.
  • It was weird, wasn’t it?
  • … why did I say that? WHY did I say that?
  • I’m such an idiot.
  • Forget about it. For now, I need to keep saying stuff.
  • Okay, now there’s more people.
  • So… so many… people here…
  • I must give each one an equal amount of attention.
  • Otherwise they’ll think I’m ignoring them.
  • I don’t want to seem like I’m ignoring anyone.
  • This is too hard – I can’t keep up with everyone’s conversations.
  • Okay better, I’m doing good now.
  • Yes! I said even more stuff!
  • I can converse, I CAN!
  • The response is good. Maybe they don’t think I’m weird.
  • Conversation over? Awh, I was just getting into that.
  • I think I need a rest now.
  • So let’s recap what happened… I can learn from this.

And the recap basically involves replaying the entire ordeal in my head. Usually several times. It’s good because I can learn a lot from analysing my performance.

On the other hand, I usually analyse my performance a little too much and end up finding more things to criticise!

Ultimately, I try not to be too hard on myself. You can’t always predict what your mind will be like until you’re put into the situation and I like to think I tried the best I can. And next time, I’ll try to be even better!

… I put too much pressure on myself over just talking, don’t I? 🙂

Finally, no matter what happens, the most important thing I tell myself: I was just being myself and that is absolutely okay.

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About Lily

Lily is the blogger's name of an overimaginative, positivity-powered, and potentially awkward introvert girl who likes to think she's "quirky" (though it's very possible that she's just plain weird!) She loves music, musical theatre, art & comics, inspirational stories, languages, expressive people and anything that is a little eccentric.
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