I’m sat here watchimg the first Avengers movie and I was wondering what I’d write about. There’s a few abstract ideas floating around but I’m gonna talk about something that affects me daily, and no doubt affects most people at some point; good old-fashioned social anxiety. It’s something that’s so normal in my life I wouldn’t even recognize life without it.
There’s been dozens of nights where I’ve gone home early because I wasn’t ‘feeling it’ and for ages I didn’t think there was a reason for it. I just figured it was something that happened every now and then. It was only when I really sat down and thought about it that I realized it was because I wasn’t comfortable. I wasn’t comfortable with who I was with, what we were doing, how the night was going, so I just bailed. I’d get home and I’m just be relieved to be there and the feeling in my chest would diminish. Socially, it’s not ideal because people wonder why I’m bailing and probably think I’m being dry, but the real story is that I’m too uncomfortable to have a genuine good night.
See, I understand that I have a certain reputation, and that people see me and have certain expectations for how I ought to be. I know people assume that I should be confident and always ‘on’ but it’s not that simple and it’s rarely the case for anyone. Social situations are something I find difficult to navigate. It’s weird, they’ve just never been easy and most of the time, I get anxious in situations where there’s a lot of people around.
This isn’t a post that I’ve written so people feel sorry, or sympathetic. Fuck no. I don’t want or need that. I wrote this because I know I’m not the only person this happens to. I wrote this because people may bail every now and then and you might be quick to judge them. I wrote this because sometimes what you expect of people doesn’t equate to who they are. Wake up to the idea that everyone else on this planet has a life as complex as yours, and situations that suit you won’t necessarily suit everyone.
And also, social anxiety is sound because when you leave early you save money, and that’s key when you’re broke as fuck.