Socializing has never been my forte.
Over the years, I’ve gotten good at talking—I can interact with the people around me with much less post-conversation regret, even if socializing is draining. I’ve always been an introvert. I can handle most people in small doses only. I know my limits, and I know how to keep from burning out. I’m basically an expert…
Except I’m totally not. For years now, I’ve been able to float by on forced overconfidence and the kindness of the people around me—I’m sure it takes a lot to be patient with me sometimes. But lately, I’ve realized that I don’t know how to relate to people. I can talk to people just fine, but I can count on one hand the number of people I can relate to well enough to form a real connection with. For context, one of those people is my mom.
But don’t get me wrong, I try really hard to form those bonds with people. I don’t know what I do wrong down the line—maybe I put up so many walls because I’ve been burned by friends before, or maybe I’m too intense for people. I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know that it’s been weighing on me for a while.
It may be that I’m in a period of transition—leaving my home, graduating college—and I’m beginning to realize that the people I’ve called friends these past few years are going off in different directions. Maybe it’s because I’m going off in my own direction. Maybe it’s because I’ve grown comfortable where I’m at, with the people I’m with, and the thought of starting over again makes me sick.
I hate the idea of being “adopted” as a friend—a common occurrence for introverts—but it’s really the only way I’ve ever made friends. I love the people that go out of there way to make me feel included, to make sure I don’t feel left out or ignored. But I’ve always wished I could find those people myself, instead of being taken in. I hate feeling like my relationships with people are born out of pity, and not genuine.But at the same time, it makes me appreciate my genuine friendships even more. The people that I