I'm usually a very quiet and reserved person, and when I'm alone, my brain is always buzzing with activity. Based off my own experiences, I have some philosophy on people like me, and I was wondering how well it stands based off of other peoples' experiences too.
If I'm being pretentious, feel free to correct me.
I'm just going to say that...
1.most of us are introverts with social anxiety
2.most introverts are intelligent mentally
3.most introverts prefer to be alone rather than be with other people
4.most introverts with social anxiety are not always alone by choice (solitude), but more or less alone by necessity or fear (loneliness)
5.most of our fear is from our inability to socialize well, hence a lack of social intelligence
I could go on and on about stuff relating to us.. but I am going down a specific road, so I won't.
Instead of facing our fear, there are several things we do that temporarily comfort us, but in reality hurt us even more.
Hence why, instead of trying to be more social, we tend to withdraw from society. The more we hide, the scarier social interaction seems to us, and the scarier social interaction seems to us, the more we hide. It's a vicious cycle.
Many of us try to deny that we are scared (but since this is a SA support group, I assume most of us have overcome this step) by offering rationalizations for not socializing. This can be long term, like a state of being for the past X years, or short term, like passing an opportunity to say "hi" or pitch in a conversation.
Living in long term isolation leads to mental illnesses, like depression. No matter how Introverted you claim to be, you still need some social interaction in your life. (This is coming from someone who once fantasized being mute) Simply being put, you fill your brain's emotional capacity up with misery rather than that of which comes with social interaction. Extreme cases lead to various substance abuse, though this isn't the norm.
So we understand we have a problem, and that's halfway there on the road to fixing it
. Social Interaction is not actually that hard by itself.
If you were to ask an extroverted person on how they socialize so well, they could probably only come up with very shallow answers. That being said, being Social is what they find intuitive. For people with anxiety, that intuition is lacking.
From my observations, I have found that there are many traits that people with high social intelligence demonstrate.
Firstly, they just have energy. They are willing to go out there and talk, even when they don't feel like it.
Secondly, they are not afraid of vulnerability. There was an excellent TEDTalk about this https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brow...ty?language=en
, about how people who aren't afraid of being vulnerable generally enjoy life more.
Thirdly, they do not demonstrate any unattractive qualities. (No, I am not talking your face. )These are usually the "shallow" answers that I was talking about. These include being nice, being confident, being fun to be around, etc. They usually laugh, smile, and don't stir up controversy over little things. They speak clearly and at an audible volume. They will say hi to you as you pass them in the hallways, and will shout your name across the field to get your attention.
So all of these seem a bit excessive.. And I admit they are. It sounds like I'm asking you to change your whole personality, and I'm just going to say no I'm not. BUT, on note of that, "just being yourself" is a LIE.
If you were not miserable, or had no problems with your personality, then it's fine to just be yourself. In this context, it's telling you to not be fake. But since that seems to apply to NOBODY here, it's important to know that part of your personality shows in your social anxiety. If there is a part of your personality that society finds unattractive, you should work to change that. Not the good, smart, funny, witty, interesting you, but the lazy, stubborn, angry, and arrogant you.
And I suppose that's what most of us struggle with.
But along the way, I would like to say one final thing.
Let's not cast judgment on society from afar when we are afraid to see it up close.
Yes, Society is a wreck. But it has always been, and always will. I used to think of people as "stupid, fake, and insignificant", and I realized that was what made me so isolated. Now I'd like to think of people as "cute, fun, and special" (ok, idk, just something along those lines)
Let's try not to be so critical on society, because that is really just us trying to make ourselves feel better not being apart of it.
So all of this made you feel bad?
Well, despite your anxiety, you are one of the best people on this planet. No, this isn't some sappy "A Plus for participation" type consolation.
See, historically all the famous people that changed this world for the better were all introverts. Not a single extrovert makes the list. Some of them even lived with their anxiety till death, but that didn't stop them from making enormous contributions to this society. So in reality, WE are the people that really matter. Because we lack social intelligence, we naturally make up for it in other intelligence and talents.
A different time will come, and society will change. Your social anxiety may fade away, and you may find yourself looking through a different pair of lenses.
But your lasting contribution to this society will be timeless, and it will not come to pass as your time on earth does.
(OK OK I REALIZE that statistically, most of us won't do much. But that doesn't mean we won't live more meaningful lives. The friends we make will be alot more deep than superficial. We think before we act, and this by itself gives us more meaning in life)
Any thoughts? I know at the end, I basically equated social anxiety to (a subset of) introversion. But still.. same difference.