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This Is What Always Happens

Thorn Wilde

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I always end up feeling a little bit on the outside. It's nobody's fault but my own. I don't do well in large groups. I used to be the one who just sat in the corner. I'm better now, I can talk to people and partake in group activities, but I invariably keep everyone a little bit at arm's length. Not that I don't share or discuss, I'm quite open most of the time, just that I keep me, the person I am on the inside, the quirks of my personality, a little bit on the inside. So I keep my distance, emotionally, to everyone but maybe one or two people whom I end up clinging to for dear life. And I always find myself disappointed when it turns out that I'm not as important to them as they are to me, because they have other people in the group, while I don't.

 

Thing is, it always feels, at first, like I've come into a group that's perfect and lovely and where I get along with everyone and everyone's so nice to me and we all love each other. Which is true, as far as it goes. But then some people get to know each other better, and they break off into smaller groups that sometimes overlap, and I just... don't. I stay mostly on the outside, and occasionally I grab hold of a person in one of the groups and drag them out to play with me for a bit, before they wander back into their pack again and I end up wondering, what did I do wrong? Why aren't I part of a pack? When did these groups form, and where was I?

 

Then the bad thoughts come. Maybe they just don't want me to be part of their packs? Maybe they were just pretending, and I don't really belong here and when they're nice to me they're just being, well, nice? Nobody really likes me, they all just pretend so they won't hurt my feelings, and when I leave a room they're happy I'm gone because I was so annoying.

 

I wonder what they say about me when I'm not there. I wonder if they say anything at all.

 

Then I become sad and depressed, I spend more time away from the groups, more time inside myself, digging a hole, trying to figure out where I went wrong, thinking there must be something terribly wrong with me that makes it so people don't like me, even though, rationally, I already know, the answer's right in front of me, clear as day.

 

I should have been there more.

 

But I'm an introvert. That's not the same as shy. I used to be shy. I'm not really shy anymore. Maybe sometimes, a bit, in the beginning, but I get over it quickly. I don't feel anxious about being in the same room with other people, or about getting to know new people or talking to them or anything. In fact, give me a glass of wine and some good background music and nobody would believe I was ever crippled by social anxiety.

 

I'm just an introvert. Which means that when I've spent some time with people I feel really tired and exhausted and want to be somewhere else for a while. I prefer smaller groups, conversation to raucous partying, nights in with a few friends to nights out with lots of them. So, I leave early. I go home, make a cup of tea, watch a movie or do some reading or writing or play the guitar for a bit. On-my-own activities. I even like it when Magpie works night shifts sometimes, because it means that I can have some just-me time where I don't have to pay too much attention to the needs of anyone else. I'm also very empathetic, so being near other people can be very exhausting because I constantly have to care so much. It's in my nature.

 

And that's why I never belong. Because I'm there for a bit and then I sign off, and when I get back things have changed, people have formed packs, groups, clans, families and I'm left wanting to be a part of them with no way inside.

 

I want to belong. I just don't know how...

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You belong here with all of us other introverts.  And if I do say so myself, you're belonging really well.  I really am the exact same way.  My mother and I just had a very long talk about what happens when I move back home after a year all to myself mostly.  She's worried I'll have trouble re-adjusting to people.

 

I know how you feel.  Just...don't leave for extended periods of time.  Because believe it or not, I'd miss you if you were gone.  And I'm pretty sure other people would too.  You're one of us.  Accept it, bro. :)

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Yes, you belong here with the rest of us who don't feel like we belong out with the huge groups and the masses either. I hate large groups and always feel like i don't have much to contribute but in small groups it of likeminded people i can have fun and just be me. hope you'll stick around with your stories and keep being a part of the group here for a long time to come.

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As an introvert myself, I found this clip pretty much sums up the way I engage with others.  

 

GA is a good place for introverts.  You can kinda come and go at will and someone's always around if you want to talk.  Or not talk.  

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Not all those points really fit me, I think. I talk to people at parties, for instance. However, at bigger parties I tend to be among those who sit chatting in the kitchen rather than those tearing it up in the living room. And I don't feel anxiety about going out, seeing lots of people. I even look forward to it when I'm in the right state of mind. But too much just feels like a hassle, and I love having an excuse to leave early.

 

I really like this chart. I'm so sick of having people tell me I'm shy. I'm not shy. Anyone who actually knows me knows I'm not the least bit shy. I just like being on my own, and when I've been around people for a while I need to recharge.

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My friends are generally between 18 and 40 years old. Some older than that, too. This has nothing to do with my friends. My friends are perfectly normal. Well, I say normal... :P

 

Anyway, it's not like I haven't got close friends. I have an immediate circle that I'm very close with and where this isn't an issue. This is a question of new groups I enter. My classes at school and university, colleagues in a work place, etc.

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Well, it depends. If you sign off and walk away from us, i dont wanna say what i will do. Maybe give you a good old thrashing. But seeing that i friended you i must say this. I dont make friends for a day or a week. I like to keep them. So stay with us and build on that. I have lost one too many friends on GA, first Nathan, then Roan, and Vic. Life is far too short to not have friends. Friends are the sunshine of my life. Group pressure is sometimes overwhelming. But our brains kick in to belong. You belong here bro.

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Where do you guys get off being so wonderful? Thank you all and hugs all around! <3

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On 6/23/2013 at 1:25 PM, Thorn Wilde said:

I really like this chart.

I’m kind of all over the place on your chart. I’m mostly in the Introverted column, but I lean towards shy in some cases. I think there are people who see various aspects of me and think I’m in the other two categories too. Some straight people think I’m Obnoxious because I talk about being Gay, but I never talk about what I do in the bedroom like they do. When I get to talk about certain subjects, I can seem Extroverted, but I’m really not.

 

I have generalized anxiety that exasperates my Introversion too.

 

I have trouble making friends IRL. But I talk to people all the time when I’m waiting in lines or for transit. I go way out of my way to avoid sounding like I’m hitting on anybody because I don’t want to lead on any women and I don’t want to get beaten up by an insecure man. But I’m probably flirtier than I intend on occasion.  ;–)

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38 minutes ago, droughtquake said:

I’m kind of all over the place on your chart. I’m mostly in the Introverted column, but I lean towards shy in some cases. I think there are people who see various aspects of me and think I’m in the other two categories too. Some straight people think I’m Obnoxious because I talk about being Gay, but I never talk about what I do in the bedroom like they do. When I get to talk about certain subjects, I can seem Extroverted, but I’m really not.

 

I have generalized anxiety that exasperates my Introversion too.

 

I have trouble making friends IRL. But I talk to people all the time when I’m waiting in lines or for transit. I go way out of my way to avoid sounding like I’m hitting on anybody because I don’t want to lead on any women and I don’t want to get beaten up by an insecure man. But I’m probably flirtier than I intend on occasion.  ;–)

When I learned that I was bipolar, a lot of things fell into place. Namely why, even though I'm introvert, I sometimes become super social and chatty to the point of annoying people around me. Hypomania does that, lol! And depression makes me even more introvert, to the point of shyness and just completely shutting people out. Anxiety makes me shy. It's odd, shifting so much, but at least now I know why.

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I was checked for all sorts of things in two separate rounds of psychological tests. I don’t ever experience hypomania. But I do get very involved when I can talk about a few select topics. My therapists could never understand how I could be so Out when I was homeless and not be able to use that same energy in other aspects of my life.  ;–)

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