This week I had a goddamn revelation and it made me so happy I almost hopped up and down.
I’ve been trying to think of a way to explain what I realized – because I think it’s important and worth explaining – without making myself sound like a weird, awkward, possibly diagnose-able nutbar.
And then I was all like “fuck it.”
I’ve had this thing for awhile now where I can’t talk to people. Not, you know, all of the time. But some of the times. This happens (usually) to people I don’t know real well. Like work colleagues, or friends of friends you only see sometimes in large group settings. I am physically incapable of making small talk. My brain tenses up, and I just cannot contribute to any conversation. This blows.* Because I’m pretty sure there are things that I could say, and I know that, uh, sometimes I do say things that people listen to so what the fuck is going on now?
So I worried for quite awhile that when this happened people thought a) something was wrong with me or b) I was actually just an uninteresting blob of a person.
To me, option b) is far, far worse.
But then – THEN, people! THEN! – it dawned on me that the street goes two fucking ways. If people are unable to make conversation with me, maybe they think they’re the weird ones! Holy shit, guys! This means I’m not alone!
For some reason, this was a possibility I’d completely blown past before. But then, after talking with someone about a Mutual Friend and his sometimes-struggles with social anxiety it hit me. Hard. This guy is a very cool, incredibly interesting person. But sometimes when I try to talk to him, it’s like we’re speaking two different languages. Never once did I consider the possibility that this was the product of two very similar personalities butting heads in some sort of anxiety-ridden mental shit show. I had no idea that he experienced this sort of anxiety.
And as unsympathetic as it might sound, oh lawdy did I feel better once I realized it’s not always me. Sometimes it’s the other guy, sometimes it’s the two of us, but either way:
I ain’t the only weirdo in the bunch.
* I almost typed “This blows goats” but I honestly can’t remember if that’s an actual saying that people use or something that me and my bff made up together. Enlighten me, please.