There are some things that only anxious people can truly understand. To my fellow anxious wrecks, you are not alone. To those of you who may walk away from meeting me thinking I was a big ol’ meanie head (as my daughter says), I’m sorry, and let me explain.
1.) I won’t answer your phone calls, and sometimes texts.
This is a big one. Nothing sends my heart into a flutter like a bird in a snakes den than my phone ringing. GASP! Someone wants to…ta..ta..talk to me?! I cannot do it. I’m sorry, I realize it makes no sense to panic at the thought of using the phone for it’s original (and barbaric) purpose of speaking to other human beings, but I simply can’t help it.
Then, because I ignored your phone calls I feel awkward answering your text messages.
THEN, because I ignored your text messages I feel even more awkward ever answering them again.
Do I tell you my phone was eaten by a crocodile? Flushed down the toilet? Sigh, maybe I have to just move to another country so I never have to see you again.
Don’t call me.
2.) I’m late to your party.
First of all, the fact that I’m even at your party at all shows that I am really, really trying to be nice and I genuinely consider you a friend. However, besides getting four little humans dressed, outside, into the van, and into carseats, I was also sitting in my van down your street for 10 minutes while I gathered my composure and readied myself for actual human interaction (humans above the age of 7, who I did not squeeze out of my own body).
3.) I find the most isolated spot at your party (or at cheerleading, dance, etc) and avoid conversation.
Does she think she is better than us? Is she disinterested? No, and no. Does she dislike us? No, again. Actually I am worrying over what you think of me, and I like you very much (which is why I left my cave to come to your party). I prefer to be the wallflower, watch what is going on and have one to one conversations. I avoid the noisy areas with lots of people, but please don’t feel like you need to convince me to join in. I am perfectly happy watching the action from over here.
4) I say something totally awkward to you.
Uh-oh, someone spotted me off in the corner and decided to come over and communicate with me. Help! I start sweating and have a pained “smile” as I ask you about your dead dog or bowl movements. I’m sorry, I have no idea what I’m talking about. In addition to being totally weird or unintentionally offensive, I will lay awake in bed later that night meticulously going over our conversation. Not good.
5) I wont stay for coffee and dessert because I really have to go…and sit in my home. I had nice time with you and the kids, but my social interaction barometer has reached its maximum and it is time for me to run home to my sweet little bubble away from everyone who is not my child or husband (no matter how much I really like you!). Please don’t feel offended if I cannot stay longer, I appreciate being at your home but my anxiety level has reached the point where I have to go back to introverted heaven (home).
Are you an introvert? Anxious? How do you deal with social situations?