How do I get over my hang ups and start to live?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (23 answers total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a strange guy, mid-twenties, smart and socially awkward. Here's where I diverge from the half the people here that describes: I was 'home-schooled,' which in my case meant being left to my own devices, often isolated from peers, for many of my formative years. No prom, no wedgies, no Lookout Point. My adolescence helplessly spent under what some would call neglect or abuse, as I tried not to go completely mad. For reasons of parental health, I'm living under the same roof; but I'm rarely ever home, and only to tend to what must be tended to (I'll leave it at that).
I busy myself working for a decent wage, volunteering loads of time in the community, meeting lots of new people, and using whatever's left to fix what's wrong with me. I've got a newish car, I started dressing metro (shut up), eating better, working out a bit, at parties I try to drink until I'm interesting (I tend to be more random when I'm halfway sloshed).
But I'm still an outsider; I can feel it. I'll be invited to a BBQ, a house party, a show, but I've never been invited to a bachelor party. Something about me screams to them I would not be fun in this situation, and it's probably right. My social abilities are inconsistent, at the least. Sometimes things just flow, and I can walk about a crowded room, and make the rounds with everyone; and other times, I'll stop at the door, and this brutal thought just hits me that I'm a weirdo, will always be a weirdo, and will never fit in. All the worse, I'm a total introvert, so just convincing myself to make the effort is often a small battle in itself.
So because the general tone of my self-regard is that I'm this oddball, I'm very passive rather than proactive with and within social gatherings. That is, I've never arranged a party, and only arranged a few meet ups (mainly because I'm afraid to cross the line on inviting casual acquaintances, and of the dejection of people not showing up). Now, most of my friends have huge networks they've relied on since school for most of their social and professional lives -- I don't have that. I think I want something like that, but first I have to figure out how, if possible, to transcend, overcome, or work around either the perception that I'm too weird for the inner circle, or the burdensome fear of the same. I think the main thing is I feel like I'm walking around with something to hide: a shameful past, and unglamorous present. I think it makes me guarded.
There's no question mark in the bulk there because I'm not sure what the question ought to be. I've hit all the standard self-improvement marks I've been capable of so far, but there's something in the way of my taking full advantage of what's in front of me.