I seem to be a magnet for awkwardness. Don’t know why, it’s always been that way. Some of my earliest and strongest memories are of me being awkward in social situations. It’s hard to figure out if it’s always my fault or if sometimes the people involved just choose to attack me for my awkwardness or set me up to be in the position without helping. Sometimes it seems I somehow do attract people who would rather call someone out than simply have sympathy that sometimes people are shy and awkward.
As I say one of my earliest memories is that I was with a babysitter and her kids at a McDonald’s drive thru for breakfast. My family didn’t go to McDonald’s much at that point so I was clueless. I was told I couldn’t have pancakes (for reasons I don’t recall) and I couldn’t choose anything else. Everything else had cheese on it and I hate cheese, always have. They wouldn’t ask for it without cheese so I sat there not knowing what to do for awhile. They got so upset they drove off and everyone blamed me for missing breakfast just because I couldn’t decide. Like, that’s fucked up. I realize that now. But as a kid I just felt like a weird, screw up.
It still happens with surprising accuracy. This past weekend I apparently while trying to be helpful said something that wasn’t helpful. So I felt like crap because as usual I screwed up. The last time I hung out with my friend and his girlfriend was also an instance. For awhile, I was doing ok and my buddy was always broke. I would buy him dinner or coffee when I could if we hung out. This time I was kind of sick and didn’t really even want to eat. But they insisted and I wanted to force myself to be social. But there I was at the end and they expected me to pay. I flat out just couldn’t swing that, I shouldn’t have been eating out myself for the cost of it. I sat there trying to pay my third of the bill and realized why they weren’t talking about it. I felt awful and just offered to pay for my buddy too. I was left feeling like an awkward fuck up but why? I didn’t suggest dinner and had even said they could drop me off and go wherever they wanted. But even now I feel bad like I should have just paid. Maybe I should have spoke up more and made it clear I needed to save money, but that is hard sometimes. And really, should I have had to mention it? No probably not.
This usually allows me to feel that this awkwardness is why I don’t get many offers to hang out. But it’s not always that. My anxiety always causes me to turn down offers and when you do that eventually people just aren’t going to bother. You have to show you want to go out sometimes or they just assume you won’t. But it still lets me feel “They don’t want to invite you because you are awkward and they don’t need that when they are trying to have fun” I mean, odds are I would have been too anxious to accept offers to hang out but there’s just this more deep sense of being alone when they stop asking. Even though I totally don’t blame them. It just makes you question what you have to offer people as a friend.
I don’t want to say the wrong thing or let my anxiety to speak up get me caught up in things that frustrate people. It’s just hard to fix it, I’ve always been this way. I don’t really know any way to avoid it besides simply not talking. Stopping myself online and backspacing or just keeping my mouth shut around people(which makes me seem even more awkward probably) It’s just when you get down about everything else and the only thing you think might help is friends and their support. It’s tough to realize that you don’t get that because of who you are. Have to go it alone until you figure out how not to be awkward, how to speak up when you need to, how not to offer what you think is helpful because you might upset someone. I do hope I figure it out. I like being a friend, I like trying to help people or just listening so they can vent their problems and feel better. I just wish I was better at it.