Lately I’ve been feeling like I am watching my life through a fish bowl. Every response and reaction feels like I am playing a role, a character that I don’t agree with. I don’t have a word to say during conversations that isn’t ingenuite or untrue. It’s not that I’m necessaryily lying per say, but the thoughts in my head don’t match the opinions that come out of my mouth.
A lot of social interactions feel flat. I sit back and take part in the same interactions I’ve rehursed hundreds of times before. I’d like to think I am a genuine person, but this feeling of boringness and the obligation to be perceived as interesting and to entertain keeps nagging at me. It’s a roll of self conscious habits and the expectation and pressures of today’s society to blend in with everyone else while simultaneously being original, unique, and true to yourself.
I am a self conscious person, that is something I cannot deny. I have always felt the slight brushes of anxiety and the fear of being hated. A long time ago I used to carry around a small pouch with everything imaginable that you could need in a personal emergency while away from home. I would bring it everywhere with me, constantly over prepared out of the fear of being caught in the situation unprepared. At the time it helped to relief the nervous energy I always carried. I am also lucky enough to possess the trait of unrealistic self-expectations to be perfect. I’ve always wanted to be perceived as perfect, and admired those that I saw that way, wanting to be exactly like them to the point of unhealthy obsession. This desire to be better because I never thought I was good enough created a clone out of me. I like the idea of being admired, but becoming someone else never did the trick.
I’ve recently been overdosed with social interaction. As an introvert, or a human, I’ve become bored with small talk and I never feel like I have anything to add to the conversation. My words and actions feel fake and I have absolutely no idea why. It’s just something so hard to identify, but I just have this overwhelming general feeling of fakeness.
Only over the past year have I truly started to come out of my shell and express who I believe I am inside and be more comfortable with myself in other people’s presence, thanks to revisiting some old friends and memories. It’s so freeing to actually say what you want to say, without a sudden rush of fear over what they will think of you. I have finally come back to who I used to be, and more or less still getting there. I can at least be perceived as someone with opinions and interests, though I am still very reserved and always regret sharing too much. I can never understand people who tell you every little thing, sharing too much information is just so unnecessary on both sides.
You need to get to know yourself through your writing. You need to get to know what’s true and what’s a lie, and you need to work on appreciating and feeling proud of who you really are. You have a lot to feel proud of. Practice that. Make it a part of your day, every day.
Then go out into the world and try to be genuine, but stay in the background a little more. Focus on listening to what other people say more. Pull your focus away from how they perceive you. This is one of the most freeing things you can do, and I didn’t learn to do it for a long, long time. Try presenting a slightly flat person to the world — experiment with that. Just be another person in the room. Try to become comfortable with showing only small hints of who you are to other people. Stop trying to explain yourself and stand for something all the time. Stop trying to swim against the tide. Run the risk of boring people with your silence. Women often find that challenging when they’re young. They feel like they have to make a mark, they have to be CLEAR in what they believe and feel, they have to be SEEN AND KNOWN AND RECOGNIZED AND APPRECIATED.
What if you just showed up and remained an enigma? That might feel pretty refreshing, actually. To appreciate other people, breathe them in, without asserting yourself. To take in the camaraderie of the moment in a simple way, without reminding yourself that you’re really alone, that no one will ever understand you, that everyone is different from you. Most people ARE very different from you. Once you know yourself and love yourself and find a few people who are very, very similar to you, that will be OK with you.
The reason I’ve been so compelled to write about this, is because of this article that I found expressing the same kind of situation I am going through. I need some way to overcome this obstacle and let go as always writing is the way to go and is always there for me in some strange sense.
Yes this his post was a little more serious and a little deeper than what I’m used to, but I hope this is somewhat helpful to anyone else in anyway, because I think it definitely will be for me.
sorry and thank you,