My Shyness–I OBSESS Over Social InteractionsPosted: February 4, 2013 | |
I obsess about a lot of things. These obsessive thoughts result in my obsessive behaviors. I thought I would pick one of the things I obsess over and write about it tonight. It’s anything social. Socially related. This includes anything spoken or written.
I read in a book once, a psychology book that I borrowed from my last counselor and can’t remember its name, that this is common amongst shy people. (Not necessarily an introvert. Introverts prefer solitary activities over social ones, while extroverts prefer social activities over solitary ones. But introverts and extroverts can both suffer from shyness.) So we replay conversations over and over in our head.
Often times I have a problem with being assertive. The anxiety I feel in a social situation disables that quick thinking part of my brain and I can’t come up with a snappy answer. So a lot of really awesome things I could have said at that moment always come later.
When I replay the conversation in my head, there’s always all this regret and anger and frustration I feel because I think: “I should have said this or I should have said that.”
But then it becomes a lot bigger than that…I read into facial expressions, tone of voice, body language–everything.
When people whisper to each other around me, I start to feel self-conscious and I think they’re whispering about me. Or worse. When they’re laughing. When they have an inside joke. I think it’s about me. Then I get really hard on myself because I’m like “does the whole world revolve around me?” I don’t think so.
Even when I write (emails, messages, texts, blog posts, etc.) I start to obsess over what I’ve written. Because it’s still apart of socializing. So I spend an inordinate amount of time rereading what I’ve written trying to figure out what kind of impression it makes on the person or people reading it. I have to fight the impulse to add to or edit it, after it’s already been sent or published.
There’s this old friend I’ve been corresponding with for a few years now. He’s become a really wonderful friend. The kind of friend that I haven’t had in ages. It’s different because we’re only writing to each other. Now that we’re in our thirties, the depth of our friendship is a lot greater than anything I’ve experienced before. So now I have this crush on him. It’s like a schoolgirl crush. Because he’s really intelligent and well-educated. He’s so insightful. So kind, too.
So I find myself rereading what I’ve written to him. Especially our recent exchanges. I spend far too much time doing it, too. I wonder if some of the things I write sound stupid. I get so insecure. So self-conscious. It’s really awful how I panic when I don’t hear from him for a few weeks. But I tell myself, “he’s going to write you back, you idiot. He always has. He probably always will.”
I over think and over analyze everything.
I deal with this by looking for clues as to what the other person might be thinking or feeling about what I’ve said or written. It’s a lot harder when it’s written because there’s not much to go by without ever seeing the person.
So I think about all the times my friend has written me back. He’s the one who started the whole conversation. I think I sent him the friend request on Facebook first, but he accepted it. Then he wrote me a message on FB. But I dwell on the huge gaps in communication wondering if I did something to make him non-responsive. But then I remember that I commented on one of his status updates and he started up the conversation again after that. He apologized for not writing me sooner. And I was like, “Oh that’s okay, I understand, it happens.” Total lie. But total relief, too.
I forget that people have busy lives. Busier than mine. I’m too hard on myself.
So when I find myself becoming too neurotic about something, like obsessing over something or someone, I try to reason my way out of feeling so crazy.