I like people. I think I am alright with social cues and stuff like that. Being around certain people stops my thoughts from running so fast or taking such dark turns. I like and need time alone but I could not be healthy without time with others. Even if we aren’t saying much just hiking or doing something active or fun it soothes my brain.
If I am in a crowd of strangers it is the opposite. All of the voices blend together into a sort of nightmare buzzing sound and the world gets dark and I need to step outside until it all goes away. If I am in a group of people who are all talking to each other and I don’t feel like I really fit in (which is a lot of the time) I also have trouble. I just feel very quiet and withdrawn.
My problem is the backlash I get when I get home from hanging out with people. I could have felt wonderful and happy and charismatic. This is especially true with new people. If I feel like “Wow we really hit it off!” I am pretty much guaranteed to have a melt down later. Did I come on too strong? Did they really like me? I made an idiot of myself. I am too loud. Too annoying. No one wants to be around me anyway. I have this problem with established friends too. And it isn’t really considered acceptable to regularly ask people to confirm that they actually like spending time with you because your brain is in overdrive. I just have to tell myself that people wouldn’t have invited or agreed to hang out with me if they didn’t actually want to. Which is probably at least mostly true. There has to be times when people are just doing that to be polite, right? Or not….
I really haven’t figured out a good way to counteract those kinds of thoughts and feelings so if someone reads this and has ideas I am all ears.
I am actually pretty good with discussing my emotions in a logical way even when emotions aren’t logical. I do alright in relationships with other upfront people because I am not afraid to say “I have no idea why but for some reason I get sad when you X. Can you reword it as Y?” Of course not everyone is up for that kind of communication so that isn’t always a workable strategy but it is what I require in a partner.
I am usually pretty blunt and upfront about the things I am thinking and feeling. Which makes living in Minnesota hard. Next up: The perils of Minnesota “Nice”