Today, I was describing to someone what I experience suffering from social anxiety in particular. I went to my friend’s BBQ July 4th weekend just to try something new for myself, and found myself somehow returning for their weekly fellowship. While I’ve had a great time getting to know everyone individually and as a group, the first few impressions of figuring out the relationship between everyone is both interesting and stressful. This is the time again when you get a fresh start, as in high school, then college, study abroad, networking, building relationships and new friendships. Each person is also probably on their best behavior and feeling each other’s vibes out, and I’ve been trying extra hard to push my introverted self out to make those connections, throwing myself out into the abyss and trying not to worry so much. But really, it’s a bit like navigating a social war zone… you don’t want to come off too close and eager or clingy or desperate, but also you want to be friendly and confident and personable. You don’t want anyone to think you’re over flirty or crossing boundaries to someone they might be having a thing with, and because you don’t know any better, it’s pretty difficult. I don’t want to offend anyone but also be open about my thoughts and my personality, I want to be friends with everyone but not awkwardly ask for phone numbers or seem lost, crazy, prude, or whatever else judgments.
Also, everyone is just so damn friendly and there are so many guys at this church that it’s hard for me to tell if that’s just the way it is. Regardless, I’ve just been riding the wave, suddenly I’m invited to multiple events each week, I had the best time chilling in their town and church, and definitely feel the warmth of a community that is rare to find.
All I can do is keep faking it till it’s real. That’s all for now.