When it comes to socialising I’m not exactly the most effusive person to converse with. Often I’m perceived as somewhat of a miser, aloof to a point that I’d purposely seek out solitary reprieve from people. Being socially awkward is a temperament that I’ve adapted over the years to avoid people. Naturally occurring at a young age, shunning contact with other humans was a far less hedonistic tendency when I was a kid. Interacting with other children is easy when you’re not concerned with offending. You have no concept of provocation. There’s no berometer for upsetting or annoying another person because it can all be dismissed as juvenile ignorance. You could get away with saying stupid, vaguely incentive things, because you were young and didn’t know better. I’ve always been earnest in the way I express an opinion, promoting an open and honest approach to any conversation. Which as you can imagine isn’t always received warmly. I don’t intentionally offend, it just seems to happen. So my continued abstinence from verbal communication is further compounded by the genuine fear that I will inadvertently upset someone.
Yet ironically I seem to surround myself with people that talk incessantly, loudly, without really saying anything, as if they’re espousing some great machiavellian soliloquy or a dramatic stage monologue. In reality it’s just friends/colleagues engaging in normal, sociable conversations. With a rapacious wit, communicating information as well as confidence that people respond to. It’s alluring, something that people are genuinely receptive to. The only thing I really have to offer a conversation is bitter, openly saccharine deduction of our callous, cynical world or watching entire conversations play out without contributing a syllable. So you then gain a reputation as an introverted shrew people will actively avoid talking to, other than obligated courtesies and brief eye contact.
This reclusive disposition filters into my online identity too. Though I’m an active user of Twitter, the social aspect of it is a peripheral interference, as I primarily use it to keep myself appraised of the worlds witless stupidity. When online gaming, even those that promote and vigorously encourage a shared, gregarious community I resist, preferring to engage in public matches or favouring my own solitary participation. The very idea of having to prattle with some anonymous player I’ve never met to discuss strategies and logistics is even less appealing than talking to someone directly. It’s a fairly egregious social faux pa not to want to engage with others, even in an online capacity where social interaction is kind of implied?!
Now I don’t know if I refrain from conversations simply because I’m afraid of upsetting someone with an opinion, because of an instinctive rataliation to people or perhaps something more psychological. All I know is that all too often I isolate myself to feel comfortable. Safe. That’s not healthy.
I wish things were different, that I had the confidence to engage in a fluent conversation without being concerned about the implications of my words or feeling as though what I’m saying is tedious. This is something I’ve had to deal with for much of my life, that has exacerbated as I’ve matured. Each and every day is a struggle to act in a way that is deemed sociabably acceptable, without coming across as insincere or forced. When you have to grapple your own anxiety simply because you’re next to order something at a restaurant then you know you’ve got problems. This may seem small fry when compared to the thousand, perhaps even millions of people who believe suicide is a authentic remedy for depression. But to me this is a prolonged challenge I endure every time I come in contact with any human being.