Social anxiety Watch
Since finishing Sixth Form I've carried on in my part time job and have a non existent social life outside. I don't drink or go out I've tried alcohol and don't like the taste. The idea of spending a lot of money and getting drunk just doesn't appeal, especially as I wonder how I might behave in that situation. I have never been out with a girl (or a boy!) and I am Christian so I wouldn't want to do 'anything' outside marriage (as if that will ever happen). I have never made friends, and mainly I'm OK with that. Through school and now work I have got along well with people, but never well enough to socialise. I am really happy to talk about work, but I really don't want to talk about my personal life. Probably because I listen to untypical music and watch weird (read: old programmes and those normally watched by old women!) TV for someone my age and background. I'm kind of caught between social classes too, my family is educated and working very good jobs but I'm working for the minimum wage. I like my colleagues and get on well, but just lie when they ask personal stuff to be friendly.I feel like I'm living several lives.
I really really struggle with smalltalk to the extent I will take a detour so as not to pass the canteen when my coworkers are on lunch so I don't have to sit with them.. Possibly something to do with not liking sport and not getting out much, but I really struggle. I'm also vegetarian. Someone asked me about my favourite meal and I felt the need to lie to be accepted as they all said meat. They asked what I did with my night off and I invented a trip out for a meal that I went on with friends I don't have. Someone asked which restaurant and I was stumped. I fear if I keep lying I will ruin my work relationships with these people. I am also going for a promotion at work but I need to get on well with these people for that, eg sitting together at lunch. I would much rather be on my own and I can't hold a conversation as I have nothing to talk about except work. I am committed and everyone says I am very good at my job but I can't talk to anyone about a non work subject. I work long hours and colleagues say I am crazy but I have little else to do. I don't mind it though, I enjoy feeling that I matter.
I have a hobby that is considered very odd for my background (young male in a low paid job) which involves collecting what are basically kids toys. I am active in online communities for this, but have the inverse problem meeting these people IRL, that I don't fit into that social class either, they are all older with kids or retired and considerably higher social status than me.
I really don't want to tell anyone at work about my hobby as I feel it would be the final nail in the coffin of becoming a total weirdo and the stereotypical autism/Aspergers clique (I may be on the spectrum, not sure, but that's another story). I think noone would then take me seriously and my promotion would go out of the window. In my interview they said my work knowledge etc was 100% but they were worried about my interpeople skills!
If you read this far it means a lot to me, thank you
I totally get you on the whole thing about drinking thing (I'm Christian and also diabetic so I'm a definite no for getting drunk!)
One thing I would say is try to stop lying as it will get harder to keep up the lies. Also, I tend to just force myself to be social and then recover later!
There's nothing shameful about saying that you had a quiet night in, last night. Your peers may be looking to socialise with you, but if you signal that you are unavailable and having the time of your life, they'll leave you alone. They won't ask if you fancy getting together sometime, if they think that they will get rejected.
Accept who you are, what you do, what you like/dislike. It's ok to be different and learn to assertively defend your position if you experience banter; it won't last forever. Interpersonal skills can be developed by being around people and taking an interest in other people's lives.
Your work is helping your self-esteem, but it is also justifying your avoidance.
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