The life-long friendship fumble

This could be the most foreign tale ever or it could hit home for you.

I’ve found there are two kinds of people in the world. For lack of a better word, the “loners” and the um, “not loners.”

(If you are the kind of person that has 5+ people not blood related to you that you’ve kept in contact with dating back to your innocent childhood years-you my friend are the latter. I assume you navigate social situations without getting a stomach ache and you spill the first thing in your head into a text and bravely hit send without a second, third or tenth thought. You don’t wince at witty comments thrown your way and can fire an even more clever one right back without a care. You probably can strike up conversations with strangers without looking at your feet or just awkwardly passed them, too. I’m willing to bet that whatever they say- or whatever YOU say doesn’t ring in your ears and gut punch you for the few days that follow, either.)

Okay- that may be extreme. And as happy as I am for you, extrovert person, this post isn’t really about you.

But this stuff happens, and if you have it you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Social anxiety. It’s kind of this barrier and buzz kill that you just can’t get rid of. To keep yourself comfortable, you hermit. You implode.

It’s feeling like you’re a burden all the time, even to yourself. You have to be careful too, because it’s ugly cousin is depression; and you can’t give your misery company. It can be a slippery slope when you isolate. It’s hard to hang onto or build friendships when you don’t know how to comfortably reach out. That’s just what a friendship is- reaching out again and again and again. The bravery in that.

When you do get a friend chances are,  you treat them like gold. They treat you like copper. You’ve been kind, selfless and a little passive. They bite you, betray you, whatever humans do best and you quickly go away, because they just reminded you why you’re a recluse in the first place.

As if junior high and high school isn’t brutal enough, I went through it precisely in this way and I had no idea what to call how I felt the entire time.

I have done with time exactly as I should and I have learned. I have grown into who I am. Although I still deal with it everyday, I have developed a better voice: a more self loving, dare-to-try, empowering one. I am more certain of myself and I’m less accessible to the sting by minor interactions. I fight against my anxiety every day to give myself the experiences I deserve and the world an opportunity to see the real me, without a second thought.

Am I miss popular now? No. And I don’t necessarily want to be. I’m still pretty loner prone and that’s perfectly okay. I’m introverted at the core, I’m a creative, a thinker. I like my own company, and I’m secure in the loved ones who understand me. I have shifted my focus to the quality of the people in my life and not the quantity.

I’ve also learned you don’t need the ones that treat you like copper, anyway. #girlbye


 

 

 

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