Growing up, I always wanted friends and a big family that was close. As I tried to make girlfriends, I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working for me. Sure, I have a couple friends that I’ve known, but never that group of girls that does things together. They were all one-off friends who either didn’t like the other girl or didn’t know she existed. Until I moved to Utah and decided to just go for it. I met my group of friends that I spend the most of my time with at a previous job, one girl at a time. I LOVE our group. I’d be lost without them.
But then I think about being part of a big family and not feeling like I belong or being at church and again not feeling like I belong. Here is what I’ve come up with – it is me and not them, for multiple reasons. I’m afraid to be myself at church for fear of not being good enough for the other Christians. I’m afraid of getting into conversations that others are already having. I’m afraid that I’m not welcome into the group. And I know I just don’t fit in with the age groups and the places they are in their lives (i.e. younger, younger with kids, our age with kids, older with kids).
I’ve been told that I’m standoff-ish to people. I have absolutely no idea how that comes across, because I’m just scared to piss people off. I’m scared that they won’t accept me. I don’t jump in and just go for it for all of these reasons. I just don’t go and insert myself somewhere. I don’t even know how to do that. The thought of it makes me uncomfortable.
As I’m trying to find my place in my life, I’m re-evaluating my fears and how to overcome them. I don’t have all the answers yet. I don’t know if I ever will. What I do know is that I need to work with them rather than against them. I will slowly start trying to include myself, but if I walk up and others stop talking or disperse, yeah that won’t happen again (I’m speaking from previous experience here).
As I work to grow myself, I also want to work to be aware of others who are like me. Is that person shy or actually pushing everyone away? Doe he/she feel like they can be included in the conversation/group? Am I being a welcoming person to new people or even just different people I haven’t spoke with before? Does someone feel on the outside because they have a different life situation?
As I get older, I continuously encounter more and more situations that my fears overcome me. They consume me. It can be really debilitating and alienating. Others may think I am a bitch or standoff-ish, it isn’t that at all. I am working on growing and becoming more confident in myself. I’m appalled that others see me as standoff-ish when in reality I am just shy to a crippling state. I don’t have it figured out how to get past this, but I’m working on it. I am ALWAYS a work in progress. Always.