Guys, I’m struggling here.
Not financially, although I could do better in that department as well, but with my social skills.
Most people assume that my social skills are 10/10 mostly because I’m a goofy person and additionally I was also a journalist.
But guys, am pathetic with crowds, new people, and small talk. And I try, to a point I have thought of getting professional help. I was seriously considering that until I bumped into another influential Kenyan blogger confessing the same.
I recall struggling with social anxiety in my last few years as an active journalist to a point I only attended events if it was really necessary.
In fact, moving to Sweden for me was a chance to live like a hermit. Well, not entirely true but I was glad that I could choose when to be social.
Unfortunately, I still find myself in tight situations. In two instances, I have had to talk to total strangers on phone unplanned. You know those incidences where someone calls you to inform you that they met someone you would be interested in and hand over the phone to the other person immediately? And they mean no harm at all. They have your best interests at heart.
But that messes up my brain. I feel like I’m constantly navigating a minefield, trying to respond appropriately to a conversation, trying to avoid saying anything dumb, trying to convey things as clearly as they are in my head. I’d prefer to just observe, but it is weird to sit there and listen and watch without participating. Exhausting.
And then there is the mental replay afterward, over and over, analyzing everything I said and the reactions they caused, subtle or otherwise, trying to dissect it to determine if I offended anyone or inadvertently embarrassed myself.
I think the fact that being a creative and we are famous for relying on instinct to know if we will like someone has contributed a lot to this. I prefer meeting people in person and not over the phone for the first time.
I hope this blog post will help my new friends understand me better and also help similar people. You are not alone!