How I long for someone to call and talk to. I’ve had a bad day, and it seems there is no one to call. I do have friends, but not a friend who will not freak out about problems, or on the other hand, whose experience is so limited they cannot really understand.
I have two kinds of friends ITRW at the moment. One is the ‘normals’. They freak out about problems. They will try to quickly give advice, and then not call me again for weeks, unsure how unstable and strange I am. They are fair weather friends. That’s OK, but of no use to me when things are going badly.
The second kind are the ‘unwells’. These are my favorite friends. I can to some extent discuss things with them. However, they live restricted lives due to their various conditions. Or they are fragile and can’t cope with anything. I feel more kinship with the unwell friends, but they have these drawbacks. Some cannot work and haven’t worked for years, so have no idea what workplaces can be like.
I’m not in any way commenting on anyone I’ve met online through blogging of course. Just my lack of a solid friend ITRW. Which is most likely my own darn fault.
I have in the past had close women friends who had both understanding and patience for difficulty, but at this time, there is no one. All I need is to have someone listen to me for a few minutes. Is that so hard? It seems it’s hard to find.
My social difficulties really reared up again today at work. There was a department lunch in honour of a contractor who has had to cut short his contract for personal reasons (he didn’t discuss them). I kind of ‘froze’ at the lunch and didn’t do well.
To start with people car-pooled there. I didn’t know they would, though it makes sense, so I had no one to go with. I ended up trailing after the co-worker who doesn’t like me, who was with two others, and asked if I could go with them. She kind of grunted, so when I asked again she said yes, impatiently. Clearly did not want me along, but couldn’t quite say no. If I’d known about the car-pooling I would have asked someone else before all had left. I really wasn’t sure where this restaurant was to tell the truth, so didn’t want to go on my own.
Well, great start. So they talk about rock groups I don’t know about, but I make a comment about something else to try and fit in. We got to the restaurant, and I know I want to sit far away from this co-worker, C. So as she is at one end, I edge towards the middle of the very long table. I can’t quite bring myself to go right to the other end where no one is sitting. So I end up sitting across from the boss, who makes me uncomfortable, next to the PM, who is very loud and I’ve never talked to, and beside a very quiet young man who is kind of nice but won’t talk much.
Anyway, the only people I know a bit all come later and sit at the other end of the table, and I’m stuck with the boss. So no one talks to me. And the conversation is about more stuff I don’t know about – TV shows (I don’t watch much), people I don’t know, and just topics I don’t feel comfortable with.
I asked a few questions of the quiet guy to draw him out. It did start him talking, but he launched into conversation then on that topic with another young guy, and I couldn’t contribute. I got more and more tense, and decided I would just sit. I made a comment about the food I think, and said something about Seinfeld at one point.
Well, I said a few things now that I think about it. But overall, said nothing. So uncomfortable. I wish very much I hadn’t gone to that lunch. If I could have sat with someone I had something in common with, that would have been different.
My instinct with people I don’t know is to ask a question to learn something about them. However, no one else does that it seems. They just launch into talking.
Then on the drive back I gave up and just sat in the car letting the others talk. They were all younger and had things to say about which I know nothing.
Back at the office, I plugged in my headphones and listened to podcasts while I did some routine work so talked to no one for the rest of the day.
I feel so out of it. I know it’s social anxiety – it’s not as bad as I think. My thoughts are likely deceiving me. It’s easy to think everyone thinks I’m really strange, lost in my own world.
I don’t wish to be like that but I don’t see a way out. Likely the contract won’t be renewed for lack of fit.
I bumped into the PM I sat next to on the way out of the office for the day, and he just gave me this really strange intense look. Not a friendly look. I would normally say goodbye, but that look just scared me.
So a friend I tried to call who didn’t understand just sent me an email to say hang in there. So nice. He means well.
At least I can write things out on this blog. I don’t wish to be a strange person. Just cannot seem to fit in.
Well, I am trying out a therapist tomorrow. Maybe she can be of some help. Though my social troubles do not kick in in one on one therapy, so they never understand what I am talking about.
OK, what to do?
1) Greet at least two people in the morning.
2) Approach at least one person for a brief chat, preferably early in the day so I don’t seem so isolated the rest of the day.
At least I’ll seem like I’m making an effort.