I’m socially awkward… the one you see sat silently looking like they are trying their best to fuse with the wall. It’s a problem, and one that does not seem to be getting any better for me. But I am trying.
I’ve started to go to a craft group local to me for people who have mental health difficulties. Sounds positive right? Only a few problems…
1) The only reason I managed to walk into the room was because a friend was with me, otherwise I deemed it too shit scary, like accidentally finding yourself centre stage in a crowded theatre.
2) I sit by my friend, and……I don’t interact with anyone (except her). Bugger.
So I only enter group situations with someone I know, then I use that person as a shield to buffer all social interactions. I’m pretty damn good at analysing this, I just wish understanding my thought process led to a change in the situation.
So, you will find me once a week sat with a tube of pritt stick, scissors, colourful/textured paper, shrunk to half my size in the chair, concentrating so hard on creating a card that I make it look like im doing a PhD project.
If you were to see me like this, please know that I am not trying to be rude or distant, inside I am silently chastising myself for not being able to even look up and smile at someone. I fear conversation would expose my lack of social skills, and make it look like I am “off-ish” or un-interested or rude or weird or or or or or I stammer, falter and create a damn awkward atmosphere!
I need to talk the bold step forward, I am aware of this. I need to go to a group by myself, to initiate conversation without my pupils dilating wide enough to fit a Sunday roast, to sit there confidently and to smile and relax. Just where to begin?