I tend to live in my head more than anywhere else, which can make it difficult to meet new people. I obsess over making good impressions so I often don’t say much when meeting someone for the first time and end up coming off either as shy or disinterested (and I think the latter more than the former). I generally prefer to observe others before engaging in conversation with them, as well, which doesn’t help.
The point being, I’m kind of terrible at meeting new people, and I’m kind of terrible at communication in general, I think. Writing is the way I communicate best, and I believe in communication with friends and lovers. I believe that it’s important, but sometimes it’s so damn difficult for me to get anything out.
This post was originally going to be about flirting, or my inability to flirt, but instead it’s evolved into interaction and communication in general, though also about flirting.
I think both my lack of flirting and communication abilities both stem from the same place: I’m afraid of my words being taken the wrong way, and sometimes I’m afraid of my words being taken the right way and my advances or assertions being unwanted or incorrect.
Everyone has these fears to an extent, but some have them more than others. I always admire the people who can speak their mind and who seem to have little disregard for what others think of them. I’m not that person, although I often wish I was. I care too much about what people think of me, and it pains me when someone dislikes me for whatever reason.
I came out as queer at a young age. I was the founder and president of my high school’s GSA and very out. I watched straight or even bi female friends of mine flirt with other girls, snuggle with them, kiss them, all the while wishing I could experience that but holding myself at arms length in fear of what they would think of me. I desired closeness in a friendly way, without any sexual overtones, just snuggling and exploration, but I was afraid if I attempted to join in they would think I was hitting on them.
It made me guarded, careful of what I said, worried at every turn that someone would take something I said the wrong way. I collapsed into myself and didn’t share that connection with anyone around me. I didn’t know many queer girls, and the ones I did had boyfriends or just generally weren’t interested, so that wasn’t something I could explore with them either.
The point of all this is I don’t think I know how to interact with others in a good way, and more and more I choose not to interact and to crawl deeper and deeper into my own fears and frustrations. The problem really is that I don’t know how to get out of it, and further that I’m afraid to try to get out of it because that could mean ruin.
Often, too, if I get close to someone I sabotage it by overanalyzing and becoming anxious about the interactions. I cherish some of the friendships I’ve made online, but they all seem temporary, and I know that’s mostly my fault.
I love Onyx but we are not enough for each other, we both need other friends and lovers to be in our lives. We’ve gone out and met people here, but nowhere near as much as we should have by now. Every time we go somewhere it’s a struggle because I push against it, even though I know that once we go out I will enjoy myself. I can’t seem to help my automatic aversion to the outside world.
It’s ironic, maybe, that the things I want the most–simple interaction, closeness, friends–are maybe the most difficult things for me to allow myself to get.