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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Social fail!

This is what happened: Hayley goes to party. Hayley eats pizza, talks about debate, attempts to dance, and stands alone in the corner for fifteen minutes before deciding to blow the joint. Hayley see kid at the piano, and being a sucker for piano music, stands and listens. Hayley barely speaks more than two words, just smiles a lot, sings a little, and leaves when they start talking Halo. Hayley sits in hotel room all alone, tired and feeling like a social failure.

I just really don't know what's wrong with me. I like people, I like "dancing," I like hanging out. I used to like meeting people, but maybe I spent so much time with people I already knew that I've forgotten how it's done? Was it a crisis of confidence, a bout of insecurity, fear of being judged? Perhaps it's my vanity, that I feel like I have something to prove, that I can't stand the thought of not being liked. I could analyze it away, say it's the introvert in me, or that I'm just passive, or that I wasn't feeling well, but the truth is, this should be easy for me, and I can't understand why it wasn't.

And I can pretend this is an isolated incident of social ineptness, but this feeling is kind of a familiar one. Rationally I know I have nothing to be afraid of, but in feeling and practice large groups of people I don't know scare me. I guess they scare a lot of people. But I wish they didn't. And even though I'm tempted to think, "So what, I'm never going to see these people again, why should I bother cultivating casual relationships with them," that's a selfish, unloving attitude. And all the more reason to push past my feelings of inferiority, and get to know these people, not for my sake, but to love on them. And what is the root of love? It's not about me, and tonight I guess I forgot that. God is good.

3 comments:

Michael said...

I'm sorry Hayley, and I know how you feel (I can actually say that honestly). It really isn't easy meeting people...very old thing to say, said a million times before, but true. If I had some insight to give, I would, but I don't. All I can really say is that you aren't alone (I have to appreciate the irony in this sentence). I've stood in a corner, or sat by myself a time or twelve.
I hope tomorrow is a good day, and maybe if you get a chance to read this before you get to your stuff tomorrow morning...Good luck, I'm praying for you and I dare you to try to meet a kid named "James" (Jim, Jimmy, Jimbo,)

Falling Wings of Glass said...

You're a homeschooler--of course you're socially inept ;)!

Just kidding. But really, though, I know what you mean. Sometimes I think it's because I don't really want to meet people. I mean, if so much hurt has come from the people I know, why reach out to others? But that's not really it. I'm really afraid of rejection; ironically, though, I end up being rejected...by myself.

Other times I think that it's because I'm so different. And yet...a lot of us are. Just because we're different doesn't mean that we shouldn't reach out.

Another thing that keeps me back is fear of myself: I mean, who am I going to be? I wish that I was secure enough in who I am to be sure that every time that I talk to people I know who it is who's going to talk to them, but I'm not. I try to be myself...but always end up putting myself in one comfort blanket of a cliche or another. Who's it going to be this time? The geek? The social butterfly? The reader? The smart kid? The musician? The emo-poet? The comedian? And try as I might, it never ends up being just...me. Just Edward.

Do you feel the same way, Haley? Or are you confident enough in yourself that that isn't an issue?

Hayley said...

"I'm really afraid of rejection; ironically, though, I end up being rejected...by myself."

Ah, I think I know exactly what you mean. And the labeling thing, I feel like compartmentalizing myself can make me know myself better, but it just ends up confusing me. It feels very two-faced, but I feel like each "version" of me is fully me, and yet still so contradictory that it's hardly me at all. And you'd think that wouldn't affect how I interact with other people, but sometimes I guess I care too much about how I am being viewed by others to risk making friends in the first place.