You know, the thing with being largely introverted and spending a year isolated in your room is that, when you finally do reach a point of regular social interaction it becomes a lot more overwhelming. I found that out when I got my most recent job. It’s tiring, involves being on your feet pretty much the entire time, and also talking to a number of different customers all throughout your shift. I’ll tell you something, my first day I was on the verge of breaking down a number of times. The thing that got me through it though was the other people that worked there. They were lovely and friendly and supportive, and I felt bad for underestimating how much I was going to enjoy my time working there. I’ve only been in this job for a few months or so, but already my confidence had gotten so much better. A few times I’ve found myself striking up a conversation with a customer, and that’s something I never would have done before. Of course, I have university to thank for the little bit of confidence I built up before, but that was nothing compared to what I have now. I still suffer from anxiety and such, but I feel as though I’ve gotten better.
I know I’m not alone when it comes to being afraid to order food or talk to people you don’t know, hell I was even scared to really eat in the staff canteen on my first day, but it really does help to be thrown in situations you’re unfamiliar with. Don’t get me wrong, I’d never force someone into something they were adamantly refusing, I’ve been there, and it can be more damaging than it is good, but I would recommend pushing yourself past what you find comfortable. Even just baby steps is fine, because progress is progress no matter how small, and faking it until you make it are words to live by.
When it comes to making friends, I’m bad at that as well. With my ex I lost the friends I had, because my friends were her friends first. I was alone for a long time until I finally worked up the courage to reconnect with an old friend from college. We still don’t talk much, being busy as we are now, but knowing I have someone there is a comfort. I also met my current partner at the beginning of this year. It’s weird when you think about the different ways there are for you to meet people, and it can happen in the most unexpected of ways – like joining group chat at the same time someone else does on a game of overwatch, because you feel bad for the guy talking on his own, for instance… I wouldnt change how my life has turned out, because so many things have happened that make me who I am, no matter how bad some of it has been. It’s hard to think of how things will turn out, but with luck, things will keep going well. Fingers crossed!