It was pointed out the other day that I'm pretty rubbish in social situations, this wasn't big news to me I know, but have never really thought about how much it is affecting my life.
I've never considered the possibility that maybe I have a social anxiety disorder, I have always found social interaction difficult. I can remember those moments at school where the teacher says they're going to pick someone to speak and you stare at your desk terrified it will be you and wishing to be invisible.
I do have some people that I can talk to quite comfortably but if there is a group of people or people I'm not comfortable with or don't know I will be the one who is just listening, not really joining in, worried I might say the wrong thing, worried about being judged. In my head I have amazing conversations but that's usually where they stay as I can not pluck up the courage to turn those thoughts into words that you can hear.
On the odd occasion I go to a party I have no clue as to how to join in a conversation, the fear of getting it wrong is bigger than just standing on the perimeter watching/listening. I am the same at races, that time before the start/finish when people are chatting, getting to know each other, I will try if you talk to me but would never consider going up and starting a conversation with someone I didn't know.
I have been told by three separate people recently, all I have known for at least a year or more that 'they don't really know me.' This actually makes me a little sad that I can't just be myself and let those I think of as friends know the real me.
Maybe one of the reasons I like to run stupidly long distances is because it means I get to spend hours by myself, is it another way of avoiding being with people, don't get me wrong I love it and it is my passion but is it also an escape from social interaction?
I don't at the moment have any answers as to how I can overcome this, I do know that I want to and I don't want to grow old and lonely with just the dog for company!
It hasn't been easy writing this and although I know I can't change overnight. If you did read this far maybe it will help you to see me as someone who finds it really scary and difficult to talk/make conversation. I am not being deliberately unfriendly, aloof or unapproachable I am just not sure what to say...
Have a good week and happy running xx