I’m pretty crappy in social situations. You know, like gatherings, get-togethers, groups of people in a room. I’ve written about it before; being an introvert.
I think it’s just being an introvert. I hope it’s not some kind of phobia thing. I can live through them. I’ve made myself go to some of those things and survived. I think about what it would be like to be one of those extroverts that loves having big parties and lots of friends. Like you see in the TV commercials. So I guess it’s not a phobia kinda deal.
The other day I was thinking about how and when I got this way. And why. I don’t think I’ve ever really been socially accepted. I think back to when I was in elementary school. We lived several miles outside of town, so I didn’t get to socialize with the other kids much. I had friends, sure, but getting to hang out with them outside of school was occasional at best.
We didn’t have a lot of money and by the time I was in junior high, there were 4 of us kids at home. I honestly have no idea where my mom got my clothes. I’m pretty sure they were hand-me-downs. They truly were the worst. I’ve always been tall and my pants were always too short and came to above my ankles. They were called “high waters” when someone’s pants were too short. I remember one pair of pants that had to be for a short, heavy person because the legs were really short and the crotch was really low; like at my thigh. They were either cotton or some kind of polyester. They were so awful I still remember them to this day. I didn’t get an actual pair of jeans until 9th grade. So I’m certain my wardrobe didn’t help with my social standing.
I think being a social outcast molds a person a certain way. I don’t know if it makes you an introvert. That would be something for the experts to decide, not me. I think that, simply put, I wasn’t included in groups so I learned a) to be alone and b) I would never be in the “popular” crowd. I learned to be ok with that, plus I did have a few friends in high school. A group of 4 or 5 people who were also somewhat out of the main stream, so to speak.
Anyway, I think I adjusted to not being popular or having lots of friends for the rest of my life. I’ve gotten quite comfortable with it actually. I’ve had friends. It’s not like I’ve lived the life of a hermit. But historically I really only have one or maybe 2 really good friends at a time. I’ve always tried to be the best friend I could be. Always supportive and there for them in hard times, and help whenever they needed it. It appears that that didn’t mean much after a while. Seems like 10 years is the limit on friendships for me. You’d think after 10 years, you’d be best friends for life, but I guess not. One person replaced me while I was going through the deaths of both of my parents within a year of each other. The other, I caught her talking about me behind my back when she didn’t know I was listening, more than once. It just wasn’t worth continuing the so-called friendship. So those were the last two “best friends” I had.
So, maybe that’s why I’m crappy at social gatherings. I’ve been burned so many times I don’t trust people. I don’t care to deal with them being all nice and friendly and the small talk and it’s all an act. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.
I know. I sound like a bitch. Maybe I am, I don’t know. Maybe it’s all me and I’m looking at this through some weirdly tinted glasses. I’ve read a bunch of articles on introverts and they all hit pretty close to home. I just know that if I’m faced with the prospect of a social gathering, I immediately get a feeling of dread and start to squirm. I immediately start thinking of how to avoid it. If I can’t avoid it, I plan a strategy to make it as quick as possible.
I bring this up because some of Hubs’ distant cousins are having a “get-together” and he told me about it and that he’d like to go. Peachy. I just stared at him. For a long while. Like, we’ve been married for 30 years, you know how I feel about these things. Especially when I don’t know these folks AT ALL. The only time I’ve seen them is at weddings & funerals, and they don’t talk to me. Of course he’s welcome to go by himself. He can tell them whatever he wants as to why I’m not going. Make something up, tell the truth, I don’t give a flying rat’s ass. It’s not important to me whether I’m gonna be labeled the snooty, unsociable bitch. After I’ve had cancer I decided that I’m not sacrificing myself for what people might think anymore. Life is too short to suffer because of what someone who is totally unimportant might think.