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Wed, Dec. 9th, 2009, 11:09 pm

It sure seems like we have a mad bout of Seasonal Affective Disorder going on here; more than a few people I know are facing personal demons or otherwise just feeling squished. I'm no exception.

I suspect most people know by now that I have this general insecurity that people in general don't like me. In most situations there's always this feeling that people are ignoring me. Or that they don't want me to be around. Or that I don't fit in. Or that nobody even remembers me anymore. Something along those lines.

I know well enough, though, that that's likely not the case. As with most delusions, though, that doesn't matter. The voices in my head eventually win out. I also know that it's a self-fulfilling thing; if I don't make an effort to connect with others, then I can't reasonably expect or even hope that they'll reach out to me or even remember me. It is hard to make that first step, though, when the first thing you think of afterwards is "eh, they probably don't want me around anyway."

Naturally, there's a list of people who don't stir up thoughts like that for me. But it became apparent recently that the list is shrinking. That's probably not a good thing. There's also the FB account thing, which while initiated because of my distaste for some of the stuff FB does, is sustained by this same issue. I also find myself thinking back to Hot Tub this year, where on the Friday, I got quite drunk, forgot about all this stuff, and ended up having what I remember was a good time (despite never getting in the tub), while the next day, I didn't, found myself feeling totally overwhelmed, and ended up hiding in a dark room in front of my laptop for good chunks of the night. Of course, in the end, I can't say I made any new connections, either.

I find myself in the curious position of actually being able to do something about this in a huge way. Aside from actually having more friends than I can remember (heh, how ironic), there are many events I can go to here to meet like-minded people, and so one would think I should have no problem making a pile of friends around here. Yet I'm scared to go to these things. No surprise, then, that I have the constant feeling that I can count the number of friends I have around here on one hand. (It's probably more like two hands, but I'm pretty sure it can't be much more than that.)

I guess I don't know what to do. Actually, I know exactly what I need to do, but I can't get myself to do it. I'm not even sure what it is exactly I want. Too little social interaction results in me feeling like this, but too much results in me feeling like there are a billion things that I really want to get back to doing. I have no idea where the middle ground is. (It's funny, because the things I can go to around here mix both socializing and hacking, so I could easily do both and figure out where it is. But then I'm still scared to go.)

Oh well. The computer to my left is almost done installing Solaris, and I can't figure out what else to say without making this even more pitiful than it already is, so I guess I'll stop. At least I can hide behind trying to deal with my big to-do list.

Thu, Dec. 10th, 2009 09:55 am (UTC)

Too little social interaction results in me feeling like this, but too much results in me feeling like there are a billion things that I really want to get back to doing. I have no idea where the middle ground is.

you're not going to a hit a point of too much if you're too scared to do even a little, yes? middle ground is something you'll more easily discover through action as opposed to speculation, and your opinion about what middle ground is could change once you act.

but it sounds kind of like an excuse anyway. rationally you understand that taking that first step towards more social interaction doesn't have to lead to a road of partying 24/7, but that line of reasoning is a good scapegoat for being afraid enough to not want to take that first step.

i suspect the key is to find a social avenue that either makes you comfortable so that you can not flip out about the big picture or find a social avenue that is somewhat uncomfortable but easily to retreat back to as an attempt to increase your comfort bubble. but it also sounds like you know this too, that you have an avenue in which you can resolve this, it's just a matter of dealing with the fear. not necessarily *overcoming* the fear, but finding middle ground with your fear too because it's okay to be scared, it's less okay to let that fear control your actions or lack thereof so completely.

Thu, Dec. 10th, 2009 07:54 pm (UTC)

It's less an excuse and more an admission of hypocrisy, actually.

Thu, Dec. 10th, 2009 07:58 pm (UTC)

ah, yeah, that makes sense too.

Thu, Dec. 10th, 2009 08:08 pm (UTC)

I also realize now that the last few things I stuck my head into were probably the most difficult things I could start with -- large groups of people who seem to know each other really well and who I may only know one or two of (wow, that's an awkward sentence fragment). In those situations, I really feel like an outsider trying to stick his nose into stuff. Maybe people are more forgiving of that sort of thing, but I can remember certain situations in the past in which I really honestly felt lost.

Thu, Dec. 10th, 2009 08:13 pm (UTC)

if you're just going as a straggler, then it can definitely be like that, but that's also a situation that i sometimes like to be in personally. that doesn't seem to be your cup of tea, but that's easy enough to fix by instead finding a context of people either small or large that can be held together by a common thread that you can feel like an insider to as opposed to an outsider.

Thu, Dec. 10th, 2009 08:20 pm (UTC)

One would've thought there was a sufficiently common thread: computer nerds. But then, one would've thought computer nerds weren't so damned social. :)

(It's been on my list of things to do to stick my head into an SHDH. Again, though, there's the problem of dealing with the fear.)

Thu, Dec. 10th, 2009 08:28 pm (UTC)

i'd say that the stereotype of computer nerds has changed quite a bit in the past decade. not so many maurice moss's anymore. :)

*if you don't watch the IT crowd: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiRxkFWb_3o