Monday, January 19, 2009

"Fitting In" (Part 1)

I am the type of people where I can move and live anywhere and get along. Technically I think I prefer bigger cities, but I still enjoyed my 5 years of living in a town of 6000 people. I am able to adjust and adapt to my surroundings. I don't know if this has to do with being adopted, and having gone through a huge adaption (change in culture and language) or if its just my personality. I won't dwell on that aspect long because either way, I'm glad that I have this trait.

I am an extreme introvert. My friends will laugh if they read this because I think I am very talkative around them. I mean, I have no problems talking with my friends. What most of my friends don't realize is that if they were a stranger on the street, I would never in a million years talk to them. They also don't know that when we first met, it literally made me sick to my stomach. Whenever I meet new people are in large groups (even large groups of my friends), it makes me feel nauseous. Even in a comfortable setting like in my own church. I can hardly bear the "greeting" time because there are over 10 people (even though I know them all) that I might have to "deal with". When I try to explain to my friends they just don't seem to understand, and they usually laugh because they think they know me better. Its not just butterflies and nervousness, its literally a sickness in my stomach.

The only reason why my friends don't realize that I have this problem is because I force myself to overcome this fear. I know this is a weakness in terms of meeting new people and that realistically I could be perfectly content and happy living a "hermit" style life (which is dangerous for an introvert). So even though it makes me sick to my stomach thinking about it and doing it, I force myself to deal with it. Like I mentioned above; even after I overcome it I still face it every week. Church for example. Even though I know most of the people there, I still get nauseous every Sunday when we are supposed to get up and greet everyone. Or during "fellowship" after church. A big room with lots of people, is probably my biggest fear in life.

Even though I have done it many times, the fear never subsides, it never reduces and never gets easier to do. I have put myself in these situations each week at church, and doing it today, is no easier than my first visit.

I kind of went off on a tangent, so I will split this post into two parts, the second part will resume where I meant to lead this post.


  1. I can So relate to this social phobia. I am very good at covering it up but inside I am uncomfortable in social situations. Just wait until you become a Dad - Parent/Teacher conferences, ballet, soccer...YIKES! Pretend I didn't say that because I don't want to freak you out - LOL! Looking forward to part 2 of this post.

  2. I can easily identify with you on this one. I have been a major introvert for most of my life too. I have previously been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, which was mostly brought on during social events and confrontations. Try not to worry about it too much, because there are a lot of us out there. It has taken me a long time to figure out who I want to be and just to be confident in myself and not think about what others may or may not be thinking about me at the time. It's easy to give up and stay to yourself, but it's also very lonely. None of my friends believe that I'm painfully shy too. When I meet strangers (especially men) I tend to stay quiet and get so nervous I can't hardly calm my body and mind down. Thanks for sharing. :)