Mingling with anxiety

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Dear person who I have not yet met,

When I first see you I am intimidated, I see all the traits that you have and I do not. My heart races regardless of who you are.

When you make eye contact with me I want to run away because I believe you are either about to humiliate me, or have mistaken me for someone else.

When you walk towards me, my stomach flips over and I want to vomit because I’m afraid that you are going to do or say something that will make me feel inferior.

When you speak to me, I can’t focus on what you are saying because I’m too busy forcing myself to stand still and not shake.

When you smile at me, I can’t breathe and I feel paranoid that you are actually laughing at me, or smiling at someone else behind me.

When I need to reply to you my mouth fills with the sand that is trickling out of my brain. I’m so scared of saying something stupid that I crack a ridiculously poor joke instead, then replay what I’ve just said over and over, thereby missing what you said next :/ sorry…

When you try to ask me questions about myself I give short answers because I don’t think I’m interesting enough to warrant longer ones. I’m also too busy stopping myself from fidgeting to remember much more than my name and date of birth.

When I ask repetitive questions about you I’m not obsessive, I just need a few seconds to gather my thoughts because my cerebral hamster wheel has got all tangled up.

When you look over my shoulder at someone else I panic that you don’t like me, so I do something weird to grab your attention, like pull a strange face or say something inflammatory that I don’t even mean.

When I look over your shoulder at someone else it probably isn’t because I’m bored it’s because I’m looking out for assassins and trying to get respite from your focus.

When you walk away I can breathe again and recommerce being awkward without an immediate audience.

When you walk away I wish you hadn’t left so soon

I know there are more interesting, intelligent and attractive people out there for you to meet who won’t require so much effort.

Damn, meeting new people is exhausting when you crave social interactions but yet are terrified. It was so much easier when I could drink alcohol. I wonder, does everyone else feel the same?

If you know me already we can hopefully (but not always) skip the foreplay and I can just stand awkwardly and limpet-like beside you while you roll your eyes until such a time as it is almost socially acceptable for me to run away and hide.

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5 thoughts on “Mingling with anxiety

  1. thefeatheredsleep says:

    Excellent

  2. I came across this a while ago: when you feel shy and awkward imagine that the other person feels the same way. I realised not many I’ve encountered have allergic reactions to socialising…

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