As a self-professed and unabashed “Book Geek” I admit that I find myself usually most comfortable and passionate when speaking about books, otherwise I find I am severely lacking self-confidence or self-assurance, and grapple with being a severe introvert. Dealing with most social situations always revs up my anxiety level to unprecedented levels. Worry overtakes me, and I find any relaxation, or enjoyment, hard to muster. It isn’t so much that I dislike being in a social situation, it is more that my concerns and insecurities far outweigh any ease I try to feign. I do a little better one on one, but when surrounded by a larger group, it isn’t pretty. It is an unease of how to fit in, where to place myself, what to contribute that hinders my bravery. Oh, certainly the adage of “be yourself” comes to mind, but it is hard advice when you fear people won’t like the “yourself” you are. There are people I see so at ease when sharing with a group, leading a group, etc. and I envy that.
In my bookclub I recently had to take the reigns in our discussion and felt pretty useless, even though it was about a book. I am far better at sharing my thoughts about the current book when I don’t have to worry about leading, otherwise I am a bundle of nerves. Even when I am just sharing I am questioning myself; am I talking too much, making an absurd point, being rude! Recently, when I went to hang out at a good friend and fellow blogger KitchenKM’s game night, relaxing wasn’t so easy, especially early on. I felt awkward and kind of clammed up. Then as we played the game, I think I got kind of snippy when I had to be silly in the game that was meant to be fun and easy going. I feel like a pretty uncoordinated and unimpressive figure to begin with, and acting silly or uninhibited just makes that even worse for me, even when it should be fun or lighthearted. Overall I had fun, but I know I wasn’t at my best or socially graceful. It is a constant battle between wanting to be accepted and be more social, and a fear of failing and just not measuring up or fitting in. These thoughts are hard to ignore, it is just a given that I will be nervous, clumsy, and awkward. Confidence never has been, and most likely never will be my strong suit, I just can’t seem to find my size.