Why is it so hard to be social?

I’ve always knew I’ve found interacting with other people really difficult. But I’ve been taking more on-campus classes this past couple quarters and I realized that I really have trouble talking to people.

So if you see someone in your class not saying anything to the point of being rude and basically sucking at group work, please don’t blame them because they could just be horribly bad at interacting with other people.

Sometimes I wonder how I am going to survive in the work world but I feel like I do OK at work right now? And I work in retail at the front counter… so I basically see people and talk to people all the time.

I was just thinking about this because I had some group work during class today. We had made plans to meet about 30 minutes before class started but one of my group mates sent out an e-mail asking if we wanted to meet earlier. I pretended not to see the e-mail though because she hadn’t really asked so I thought it wasn’t that urgent. But I get there 30 minutes before class and I realize that my group had already completed the majority of the work and I basically did nothing.

I could have volunteered to present but I didn’t. I didn’t do anything. All because of my fear? hate? anxiety? at talking to people. It’s not really any one of those but maybe a mixture of all of them?

I suppose I’ll just have to keep trying better. Thankfully this was informal group work and I’ll have more opportunities to do better but I probably didn’t make a good impression on the two people I worked with.

I remember when I first got accepted to the program I was contemplating about whether I should accept the residential program or the online program. I was really torn up about my decision (because I felt like the residential program felt more “official”) but now I’m really glad I chose the online program.

I really, really hate talking to people. Unless they’re my sister. I even have trouble talking to my friends. I always say I want to meet other bloggers, which I do, but I probably wouldn’t know what to do if I actually met anyone. Is there something wrong with me? I never really cared before now because being “un-social” didn’t really affect me in any way and I don’t really need too many friends.

But do I need to change? Is there a way to get more comfortable around other people? I wish someone would tell me an easy answer but I suppose easy answers don’t exist.

If they did, I probably wouldn’t be struggling so much.

Anyways! Yeah. A kind of more casual post than I’ve been writing recently but I needed to get this out of my brain.

In other news, I recently started a new adult romance novel and the book basically had rave reviews. I also read the author’s previous books before and really enjoyed them, so went into the book with high expectations. But the book had three things I hated:

  1. Insta-love
  2. Over the top cheesy romance scenes that just wouldn’t happen unless you lived in a K-drama
  3. Student/Teacher relationship

And when I say insta-love. I really mean insta-love. Like see each other and feel an immediate “connection” and fall in love with each other the moment they set eyes on each other and declare love declarations the first date they have. Yuck. No thanks.

I’ve been wanting to read a romance novel though because I’ve only read two this year. Maybe the next one will be better.

Thanks for reading!

11 thoughts on “Why is it so hard to be social?

  • You’re not alone when it comes to finding difficulty in interacting with people. I feel like there are many factors, whether the personalities don’t align, someone is not a people-person, and etc. I don’t see it as an issue unless it somehow impacts me severely… Eg. The doctor should tell me what’s going on.

    I don’t think the group work incident was necessarily your fault. You did agree to meet 30 minutes prior and expectations shouldn’t be set for last minute changes. I usually get pretty annoyed when people change things last minute because I like to plan things around a solid schedule. You definitely have other opportunities to do group work! :) And at least this wasn’t something big.

    Even though I’m an extrovert, I kind of don’t like talking to people sometimes. I’m beginning to be the type who likes to talk when there is value in the conversation. Soooo small talk is definitely out of the Q as well as dead-end conversations. @___@. I don’t think you need to change as long as you’re comfortable where you are. You’re not hurting anyone.

    I’m not a fan of student/teacher relationships, even if both individuals are adults. I’ve seen so much news about teachers kidnapping students and all sorts of messed up things lately that hearing about it in romance novels makes me feel uneasy :x. These authors make it sound like it’s easy to have love at first sight XD. ~only in a perfect world~

  • It is difficult because society demands we act a certain way…I hate it. People want you to be a certain way and be something you’re not. Be yourself and you’ll make great friends.

  • Same. I honestly made a only a handful of actual friends from uni but apart from that my circle is so small it is almost nonexistent because I prefer to be alone. I know that part of my personality is from (social) anxiety but the other is just figuring myself out at my own pace.

    I think as long as you are true to yourself, that social side will come naturally. I don’t have all the answers but some of my closer friends are the ones who got to know me after they judged me as rude/distant/cold but still took the time to get to know me, so yeah! It definitely helps to let your guard down a bit and make some small talk (as much as anyone might hate it) but it helps as practice in a sense.

  • There definitely isn’t anything wrong with you. Let’s get that out of the way first.

    It’s just how some people are like – some are naturally more introverted, some naturally extroverted. I find myself being torn in the middle and hugely dependent on the people I’m interacting with. It’s completely variable. This post actually reminds me of my sister, who is somewhat like you (like what you’ve described anyway) and I’ve had this conversation with her before. This is why she hasn’t found a job yet (even a part-time one in retail) because she absolutely fears talking to other people. My advice to her at the time and even now is to pretend that they are just me. Pretend you’re talking to someone you know well. I know it’s super hard but I was initially really scared of talking to people but putting that “they’re my friends. They won’t judge me. Even if they do, I’ll never see them again anyway.” I hope that sorta makes sense. Working in retail will also help with this, I know it really developed my people skills!

    The group work incident isn’t your fault at all. Don’t blame yourself. I think communicating with them after about why you couldn’t turn up is vital to keep that relationship going, but I hate last minute changes anyway and try to avoid it as much as possible.

  • There’s nothing wrong with you, I know because I was exactly the same way… Well, there are still traces of that now, but there’s nothing wrong with that that’s just the way some people are. Some are more outgoing and more extroverted, and like you and me, some are more introverted. Personally, I feel energized when I have alone time and I agree, I don’t need a lot of friends and social interactions to keep me happy too! Too much social interaction drains me sometimes to be honest.

    I actually don’t remember how I managed to get over my anxiety when talking or facing other people, but I guess over time I just learned that it’s okay to be myself because not everyone is judging me. Plus, I also learned that you can’t be friends with everyone so it’s okay if a conversation or interaction doesn’t work and you don’t hit it off with them. There’s nothing wrong with that, as I said sometimes it’s really just a matter of different personalities.

  • I used to be really shy. To the point where I could panic when someone new would speak to me. My whole body would become rigid, my face would go read and I would just be like, “Omg, there’s someone talking to me. Lord help me out of this. Why me?”

    I’ve gotten better now and I think that’s partly thanks to university where we had to work in groups, and also getting my first job and having to interact with people.

    Take your time. There’s definitely nothing wrong with you. It definitely takes a certain strength to get over being anti-social. Some people don’t have patience, but those are the sort of people you don’t need in your life. Find people who understand, who you feel comfortable talking to about your problems, you will help you on your journey. If you ever need anything, feel free to shoot me a message x

    I saw your tweet about the student/teacher relationship and I was honestly disgusted. 1. The teacher should know better 2. They’re an adult and have a responsibility to look after the student not basically “groom” them 3. Assuming they’re underage, that’s fucking illegal and they should not be romanticising that in ANY book.

  • Nothing is wrong with you Rezina ❤️

    My sister has similar problems. She hates to speak to people unless they’re her friends (she doesn’t have a lot and I know them all) or me so she has trouble doing social things because it’s draining (and I agree with this), this prevented her to even look for summer jobs too because she would flip out just thinking about interviews. I think she’s getting a bit better at it and you will eventually, gather strength at your own pace :) but it doesn’t mean you need to change who you are. People are the way they are and most of the time, it’s fine.

    The 3 points you mentionned about the book are big turn-offs though! How come it’s so popular?

  • I feel like there’s a lot of people who can relate, so you’re not alone in this! I was superly shy when I was young, and my teachers would always have to tell my parents that I don’t speak enough. For a while, I also felt really awkward around people I didn’t know. To this day, I still avoid situations where I have to be really social around people I don’t know (like parties and such). I have become better over the years because I felt I had to, both for my job and my hobbies, and I’ve just been exposed to it more.

    I think change should be your decision! I also don’t think it’s reasonable for people to fully change who they are nor feel that they have to. We’re all different, and that’s a-ok. Sometimes it helps to give people a heads up that you’re typically quiet and don’t mean anything negative by it, so they don’t make assumptions. You should do what works for you though!

  • There is nothing wrong with you at all. Some people are just better with writing/typing/whatever as opposed to real interactions. I know I come off sounding more intelligent when I type as opposed to speaking. I think I interact well with my co-workers and friends, but I also know that I can come off very standoffish when I am in a new place. Case in point, when I started my new job last year, all the changes was so overwhelming to me that I came off appearing surly and mean to my co-workers. XD A couple of them confided that to me, and I can see why they’d think that, but I did try to make up my poor behaviour later on, and now I think we’re getting along okay.

    Don’t force yourself to change for others. If you want to make the change, then do it because you want to. And remember that it’s okay to take baby steps. Maybe you can tell yourself that you will try being more social once a month or talk to someone new once a week. Do little things to build up on whatever change you want to make. But ultimately, don’t force it!

    Don’t feel guilty about the group work situation. Last minute changes like that shouldn’t make one feel obligated to keep it. I get annoyed with last minute changes, too. You can make it up for it in future group works. Btw, I love face-to-face classes, but I hate group work >:( I can see group work being a necessity in a workplace, but in an academic setting where you get graded for it? NO.

  • I agree with people here that it isn’t something wrong with you. I have plenty of quiet friends who are so sweet and thoughtful, and I know it’s also their nature to be more reserve and prefer to just listen rather than speak. As for being quiet and/or shy within a group setting, I think it’s based on a multitude of factors and I think it happens to everyone sometimes. The same thing happens to me when I’m out with people in a group setting and if the dynamic of the conversation is fast pace, I tend to fall behind and often find myself just listening rather than talking.

    In my group of old high school friends, I find myself dominating the conversations while with my middle school friends, I’m the quiet one in the group because I’m just listening and don’t have anything to add usually. I’ve shared this self-observation with my best friend who I would call a social butterfly and chattier than I am, but she also confessed that there were some group conversations that even she felt outpaced and quiet in certain group dynamic.

    And then there are other factors such as social anxiety when I’m in a group of “cool kids”, or if I’m intimated by the people around me. But I also think that practice and exposure helps to mediate a lot of this over time, which I’m currently forcing myself to actively engage in conversations with people since this is something I want to get better at.

    Side note – I’ll be visiting the Seattle area often this summer (aiming for a weekend a month) and so if you feel comfortable, I would love meeting up with you for lunch or coffee/milk tea or exploring University Ave. No pressure, but my open invitation is out there if you so choose to. :)

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