“For me, one of the biggest draws of the Internet has always been how I can be alone and yet find connection with other people. I am an introvert. I can fake extroversion, but it is exhausting. I prefer quiet, even when I am happily around other people. I spend an inordinate amount of time in my head. Online, I can be in my head and with interesting people. I can be alone but feel less lonely.”—Roxane Gay, "The Danger of Disclosure"
“I’m not totally mad at you. I’m just sad. You’re all locked up in that little world of yours, and when I try knocking on the door, you just sort of look up for a second and go right back inside.”—Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood
thank you so much for replying to my ask about anxiety! it really helped to read how you feel about it. My anxiety sounds very similar to yours. I too work in customer service and I am great at talking to strangers and helping them but the minute anyone in work or outside starts to ask personal questions I start to panic. It has got me into a few awkward situations in the past that I am really not proud of as others would wonder why I was friendly then aloof, if only I could hide it better!
At least we know we’re not alone :) You’ll be ok, I wouldn’t worry too much about the situations you’re just not good in. My mom was a social butterfly and never understood why I was so shy. She thought it was something I just needed more exposure to in order to get more comfortable with it, but I will never be comfortable in these situations. Knowing that now, I allow myself some leway in what I attempt and what I accept as unrealistic for me. I hope you do the same :)
Hey! Your tumblr cheers me up everyday! I love reading what you post, and the quotes you post are always inspiring. I know you say you do not have many friends but you seem like a really interesting person. I have social anxiety too. I used to have a facebook but it gave me so much anxiety I felt so boring compared to other friends. How do you deal with your anxiety do you just do the things you feel you can do and avoid situations that give you anxiety?
First of all, thank you :) As far as your questions go, I think anxiety expresses itself very differently for each person. For me, I have a load of confidence in areas where I am in control. At work, you would never know I am shy or introverted. I can also talk to people in line at a store or small little conversation like that. What I struggle with is letting down my guard in the slightest to show people anything other than the very friendly helpful personality that I portray on a day to day basis. For example, if I were in a grocery store and someone asked me where something was, I could talk to them easily and even if I didn’t know the answer, they would probably leave smiling because I would be very peppy and empathize with them. If I saw someone I knew in a grocery store though, I would hide for dear life. Even if it were a friend I wouldn’t know what to say after 60 seconds and I would want to crawl under a rock. Unplanned social interaction? No way. A friend stops by my house unexpectedly? Hide. I also struggle with anything which doesn’t allow me to be in the driver’s seat. Doctor appt where he/she is in charge? Nope. Networking event where I am a participant? Nope. Calling to order a pizza? Nope. These are things that I will try most of the time though. I will schedule them or pick up the phone and try and sometimes it works and other times I end up backing out because I get too overwhelmed. I have cried on my way to a date but still shown up and I have had a panic attack in the parking lot of a chiropractor and cancelled the appt. It just depends on the day and the level of panic I start having. I can say that most of the time, I am fine 10 minutes into whatever activity I was freaking out about, I just have to get past that hump. Other things though, I simply do not do. I do not go to parties. Superbowl party, housewarming party, office Christmas party… I can not do those. Even thinking about them makes me feel like I can’t breathe. I would honestly rather break my leg and go to the emergency room to avoid them.
I also avoid anything where I am required to talk about myself. I can ask a million questions to keep the topic on the other person and they typically leave feeling understood and close to me without realizing that I never once said anything about myself. If you want to see me clam up fast in real life, ask me a personal question. I will likely just stop and look at you and either change the subject or find a reason to leave. A girl at work asked me my favorite color a little while ago and I could feel my pulse quicken and my flight mode kick in. I hated every second of that interaction, though I can’t really explain why. I guess I just don’t open up easily, even over basic unimportant things.
So there we have it. I am kind of weird and contradicting, but it’s who I am :)
“Never have I seen so many young, privileged, people trying so hard to be happy. There are countless articles written about it, blogs named for it, workshops attending to it. Who ever said we’re supposed to be happy all the time, anyway? We’re not. And the pressure to do so might be what’s making us unhappy to begin with. It’s OK if you’re not completely content with your life twenty-four hours a day. Can you imagine what a boring person you’d be if you were? Going through sh*t storms, feeling uninspired, hating the way you look and having guilt over not accomplishing enough are just some of the things that make you interesting, relatable and human. Not to mention, if you’re reading this, then you have internet access and if you have internet access, it stands to reason that you have a computer, which makes me think you probably have a place to live, with electricity and plenty of food to eat and clean clothes to wear, which are all things that an enormous amount of people living on the planet today do not have. This is not to say that people shouldn’t strive to better their positions in life, however it seems like so many of us are no longer content with a regular amount of happy, yet dead-set on being maniacally jubilant, all of the time.”—Kelly Rheel
“What’s the worst thing I’ve stolen? Probably little pieces of other people’s lives. Where I’ve either wasted their time or hurt them in some way. That’s the worst thing you can steal, the time of other people. You just can’t get that back.”—Chester Bennington
“It doesn’t serve you to expect someone to love you a certain way, and then be disappointed when they don’t. We all have limitations. You can’t be reduced by what someone else is unable to give.”—With Grace & Guts
“It is never too late to turn on the light. Your ability to break an unhealthy habit or turn off an old tape doesn’t depend on how long it has been running; a shift in perspective doesn’t depend on how long you’ve held on to the old view.
When you flip the switch in that attic, it doesn’t matter whether its been dark for ten minutes, ten years or ten decades.
The light still illuminates the room and banishes the murkiness, letting you see the things you couldn’t see before.
Ew, I just woke up and read my response to an ask last night and realized I used ‘than’ instead of ‘then’ and was so embarrassed and now I’ll be obsessing over that all day even though I deleted the post.
“Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.”—Anne Lamott
I’ve never had to wonder why I don’t have any friends. My lack of ability to socialize has pretty much sealed my fate in the friends category. I had friends up until 6th grade and then I switched schools (again) and gave up trying. I finally made one friend in 11th grade. Then at 20, I actually had a best friend for a couple of years. Since then it’s been a couple of somewhat friends and that’s about it. I get too anxious to have friends. I obsess about things I’ve said and whether or not they’re actually enjoying my company. I feel so self conscious and anxious that I can’t relax and be myself and I end up hating being around them. The friends I do make are very extroverted and don’t seem to notice how shy I can be. I can socialize at work, with family, and on tumblr, but I connect with so few people that I thank God I enjoy being alone so much. Maybe it should bother me to have such a lack of people in my life, but it really doesn’t.
“Yes, a man is a dangerous thing. So is a scalpel. It can wound you or it can save your life. You don’t make it safe by making it dull; you put it in the hands of someone who knows what he’s doing.”—John Eldredge, Wild at Heart
My cats were all following a spider across the house. They won’t touch it, mind you, they just follow it. Finally I grabbed a shoe and killed it and my poor Molly looked up at me with these giant concerned eyes like I broke her heart and now I have apologized to my cats 3x for killing their spider.