Social skills expert Daniel Wendler says that if a social situation goes wrong, you can always try again with someone else (Wendler 14). This tip encourages an abundance mentality and helps take off the pressure for things going right with a specific person or group.
For example, soon I’m going to join the Evergreen Club, a clubhouse for people with mental illness where they can practice tasks. Before getting to work, club members can mingle at tables. I’ll remind myself that if mingling at one table doesn’t go well, I can follow Wendler’s advice and try another table. Even if things go wrong completely at the Evergreen Club, I’ll still have other options, such as my therapist’s social skills group.
Keep your mind open to the variety of opportunities out there to avoid stressing yourself out with tunnel vision. Happy socializing 🙂
Wendler, Daniel. Improve Your Social Skills. Publisher and publication date unknown.
Image credit: Ross, Sage. “Wikimedians socializing in the Wikimedia Foundation office.” Wikimedia Commons, Wikimedia, 8 Jan. 2011, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?search=socialize&title=Special:Search&go=Go&searchToken=6ifor6ur81nsxxbl0hkcrpq1v.
Content note: social anxiety, depression
Earlier this month, I went to a Christmas party with my mommy through the Community Integration Program. Another guest was upset that it was crowded and took it out on her. We were both so upset that we left the party.
Today, I went to a Christmas dinner that went better, but I’m still not entirely sure that it went well. A couple of people commented on my age (they were almost all seniors, and I’m 23) and I thought that they were disappointed that I didn’t turn out to be a senior like them. I was also experiencing general social anxiety, thinking things like “I won’t be be able to connect with any one here,” “I won’t be able to connect with anyone ever,” “It’s pointless to try.” I left early cuz I was so anxious. Two of the people at the party, Anne and Rhonda (the host) wanted to know why I was leaving early. I told them that I was anxious. Anne said, “I have a friend who was so anxious that she didn’t come today.” Rhonda said, “You came, and you made it this far. Don’t let this discourage you.” Anne gave me a hug and said, “I’ll look for you at church.” I’m confused about whether they want me around or not, cuz they seemed disappointed that I was a lot younger, but they were also encouraging.
I’ve been at my Mommy’s since Friday night and will leave tomorrow night. We started watching NCIS, a military police show. We haven’t decided yet what else we’ll do during this visit. We might watch a Christmas movie, or a Christmas NCIS episode. I’m fine with anything, cuz we always have a lot of fun together.
I hope you all are having a good Christmas.
After getting rejected last weekend, I put myself back out there and tried to set up a date for Monday. At first, he said, “I’d love to!” but he ended up cancelling. He said that I’m too formal.
Earlier, he went from messaging me throughout the day every day to suddenly slowing way down. The first time he took all day to reply to a message, I didn’t say anything about it. He messaged me himself to apologize and say he thought he had answered. The second time it happened, I messaged him the next day to ask if he wanted to wait until the date to continue talking.
He said that he has trouble remembering to use the dating site and asked if we could use another app, so I added him on Facebook. He started a conversation on Facebook, and he told me that it seemed really formal of me to ask a question like that. He said that he’s used to fucking around more with people. I didn’t feel good about that. I ended our conversation a while later to have lunch. After lunch, I messaged him again to say that I felt bad about how he criticized me when I made myself vulnerable trying to find out what was going on. I said that his comment about fucking around made me feel pressured to try to be entertaining, and I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off. I added that before that, he had been very complimentary, and this was the second major change in his demeanor that I had seen already.
He replied saying that he didn’t wanna be a source of stress for me or for me to feel like I have to change. He said that he wanted to get to know me. Our conversation ended with him saying “Good vibes.”
However, he later messaged me saying that he wanted to cancel. It makes me anxious when someone changes their behavior, and I got burned really badly from trying to share my concerns with him. It has been a pattern for me to get anxious about a friendship or relationship and then for the other person to dismiss my concerns or even reject me altogether for it. I’m in so much pain. It’s hard to keep trying to build the social life I want and find a partner, but I want these things so badly that even with my difficulties weighing heavily on me, my social needs compel me to keep trying.
I’m gonna bring this up at my next therapy appointment, but I’m afraid that my therapist will think that it’s my fault that this keeps happening to me. I’m afraid of being judged. I’ll make another post about this sometime this week to share my therapist’s thoughts on the subject and how I feel about her input.
I’m lonely, so I’m gonna try some new activities to spend some time around people. The activities I’ll try include a sci-fi/fantasy Meetup, a Unitarian church, and art sessions. I’ll also get involved in a program for people with mental illness that involves things like movies and cooking classes. I hope that eventually I’ll get to know some people well enough to hang out outside of the activities. I’m nervous about how well I’ll do at socializing, but I’ll try to stay in the moment.