A lot of my social anxiety comes from this desperate need to be liked, or not to be disliked. For whatever reason, I’m programmed to do anything I can to avoid letting anybody down, or upsetting them, or holding them up, or basically making them think anything unpleasant about me at all.
And I feel it in a whole range of situations…
When I’m queuing for petrol, if someone is waiting then I notice there’s anxiety about wanting to hurry up. When I’m driving, I picture the person behind me thinking I’m an idiot. When I’m doing my supermarket shopping alone, I’m very conscious of the fact that I could be holding someone else up so I must bag the sweet potatoes faster!
Basically, whenever I’m outside of the house and other people are around, my brains’ primary intention seems to be based on appearing a certain way to others.
Essentially, I don’t want to look like a dickhead to others.
And then Mr. G, wise as he is, hit me with this truth in the middle of a conversation about this very thing; something that a colleague had said to him,
“No matter how kind you are – how great/lovely/thoughtful of a person you are – there’ll always be at least one person in the world who refers to you as ‘that dickhead‘”.
And when I really think about this… I guess I’m rather okay with it.
We’re all so different, us people. And there are certainly a good few people I’ve met in life who I would describe this way.
So is it really the end of the world if somebody doesn’t like me… or (gulp) even dislikes me?!
When I find myself super-socially conscious, stressing myself out because I may (god forbid) be putting someone else out…
I’m going to strive to remember these words; to know that whoever it is might be left with a sour impression of me – but that this is okay…. because I know who I am.
And at the end of the day, my own opinion of myself counts a hell of a lot more than what anyone else might think or say.