Time to whine and maybe reflect a bit.
What currently bothers me the most about some of my peers is that they never/barely initiate contact. It’s a stupid thing to think about. But it still makes me lose confidence when I feel like every (friendly) relationship I have with them is a one-way street. I am always the one to initiate conversations and/or try to arrange activities which usually get turned down, and it feels really shitty. Makes me doubt myself.
Although I have never consulted a therapist, I think I can say I have some form of Social Anxiety and it has been bugging me for years. I can worry about nearly any detail of my own behaviour, and how others will interpret it. At times I can worry so much about stepping on someone else’s toes that I forget to care about my own feelings, especially in regards to women.
I am definitely not saying that being considerate and careful in regards to other peoples feelings is a bad thing. It’s a good thing. But there comes a point where you need to stand up for yourself. For example:
The first time I told a girl I had a crush on her I did so apologetically. My self worth at the time was so low I felt shameful admitting this to her, because I felt I was making myself a nuisance for her. I was so sorry for the crime of having feelings for her I never even asked if she wanted to go out with me, or if she liked me back. I just stated the fact bluntly and retreated directly afterwards.
My point here is I shouldn’t be sorry for being attracted to someone. I must allow myself to have feelings. I was placing so much emphasis on not hurting her that I did not care about my own feelings. That’s where it becomes unhealthy in my opinion. In retrospect, my only actual reason for liking this girl was that she was cute. Our relationship was/is really just another one-way street.
I consider myself to be introverted, so I am quite comfortable being alone. In fact, at times I prefer being alone. However, after a while of being alone I do still feel a need for company and I start to feel lonely and depressed. Again, being quite introverted and shy I felt it was difficult to reach out. Not too long ago I would never ever want to admit to this. The general feeling I felt, as a man, was to keep my feelings for myself. I did not want to bother anyone else with my problems. I was not worthy.
I think this is a problem that men in general face. We are taught by our culture that showing emotions is something shameful. We’re supposed to be strong, confident and “alpha”.
After years of keeping silent, I was lucky I found someone I felt comfortable to talk to. It felt like she cared about me and to a certain extent understood what I was going through since she herself also shared some of my problems. This made me care for her deeply, and to this day I consider her to be one of my best friends. Lets call her my confidant.
Thanks to her and of course some of my own effort, the past year or so I feel like I’ve grown as a person. I have become if not better at least comfortable socialising with people. I don’t worry too much about what people think about me. I don’t panic during those awkward silences. I have overcome most of my shyness and feel like I can start a conversation, should I want to.
It’s an uphill battle though. Jumping all the way back to my definition of a one-way street relationship and I feel it defines a lot of my current social interactions with people. And it takes effort to keep it up. As my confidence grows, it becomes easier, but just last week I was in bed sick.
That’s when I could not keep up any more, because of the fever. It reminded me again of how lonely I am, since nobody would contact me to check how I was doing. It felt like weeks could go by and nobody would notice or care that I was gone.
Even though I think both me and my confidant have considered each other friends our relationship has always been a bit rocky. We bicker a lot with each other, which to be honest is most of the time my fault. After another argument last week I reverted back to my old behaviour with the other girl and I drunkenly/mistakenly told her I loved her. With feelings hurt on both sides we decided to take a break from each other.
I do love her. For all the care she has given me. I just don’t know if I do in the romantic sense. If there even is a difference. If she lets me, I hope to one day come back to her again as a friend, because I want to give back so much to her.
Although I really wish I could talk to her at the moment, I still need to think things over. Once I know how I feel about her I and I’ve improved my confidence I’ll come back for her.