No, not in the “oohhhhh, get me!” way, more in the “nobody gets me and here’s why” train of thought…
It’s sometimes funny how something so innocuous can trigger a search that explains everything. I’ve been back for 6 months now, back with my family who would, supposedly, take care of me after my American dream turned super sour but as yet it’s been difficult work… They don’t get me. They try but I’m always compared, rather unfairly, to the actions of my brother, and most of the advice I’m getting is based on what he would and could do. Fair enough, I’ve not really been in their day-to-day lives for the best part of seven years, I’d like to think I’ve changed but the reality is I’m the same I ever was and ever will be.
It’s always been labels, oh he’s a shy guy, oh he’s just quiet and unassuming, oh he’s this and that. No, I’m just an extreme introvert.
I realised this yesterday when I was filling out an application for a sales position with a mobile phone provider as I’m long past the part where I can be choosy about jobs and just take anything out there, there was a 15 part scenario questionnaire that, basically, I answered as I’d expect to be treated but was deemed unworthy enough to continue. I’ve always stated that I’d much rather get a job I’d be happy in as I’m more concerned about my mental health than money right now, but what do you do if your personality just doesn’t allow it? I hate talking to people I don’t know, how can I ever expect to succeed in a sales environment? My brother, going back to that comparison, can talk and talk and talk to anybody about anything, but I doubt he could thrive in a job that would require him not to talk to anyone, that’s my ideal job. I’m happiest when I can put on headphones and shut out the world for 8 hours a day and I’ve been very lucky that every job I’ve had since 2003 allowed me to do just that, at least most of the day.
I struggle to build rapports with people, I’ve never really been a social person, it took me quite a few months to open up to the people at the APWBWGTTD meetings, in fact I had to sort of drag Robyn to the first one (and that landed me in more trouble than I care to go into) I went to in June 2005 so I’d at least have someone to talk to, a crutch of sorts. It wasn’t until the December 2005 one, some 6 months later I felt comfortable to go alone. I had very few friends in Charlotte, it wasn’t until a few years of living there I felt comfortable to go to tweetups, actually the first social event I went to was the WordCamp in November 2008, I’d been living in Charlotte since January 2007, nearly two years.
Now Robyn was an extrovert, she could mingle at parties with the best of them, but she also got me, she knew I was uncomfortable in large groups of people and she tried to help me as best as she could but invariably I’d end up separated from her and feel rather lost and have the urge to go home. A good example is a birthday party of one of her co-workers we went to in June 2008. I knew everyone there, I had met them before multiple times, but I still wasn’t comfortable without my crutch. Unfortunately as it was June, it was stinking hot outside, but nearly everyone had made their way out there, I’d rather stay inside in the cool air conditioned air but I was struggling as Robyn was outside with her co-workers, things came to a head as the hours past and I was ready to go home but, of course, Robyn wasn’t ready so we ended up in an argument.
Sadly the one person in the world who got me decided it was too much and here I am, I think that why I still wear my wedding ring, it’s still a connection to that person I’m still technically married to, because as soon as we’re divorced and I have to take it off then I’m all alone in this world. Misunderstood, as usual.
give yourself some credit. i seem to recall that once you starting going to Charlotte tweetups/events you settled in well enough to become an organizer and staff several events.
you might take longer to warm up than some, but once you establish your foothold you’re a powerful (missed) member of a community.