I’m an introvert. Often I don’t like it and wish I wasn’t but I embrace it and any achievement in which I pass a social barrier fills me with pride.

I like to take some time to myself, quietly adjusting to a new reality. It’s not that I see anything wrong with parties or large social gatherings, I just either don’t get invited to “those sorts of parties” or find far more enjoyment in something quiet and considered with people I trust and can open up to.

Since I last wrote on this blog I’ve started a new job working at Argos. Whether the job can be tiring or boring isn’t the point, what really makes an impact on me is just how my social anxieties affect my new work experiences.

There’s a whole butt tonne of people working there and whilst there are a good few people who I can talk to and engage with on a regular basis, the majority of workers are on the flip side of how I engage with life.

Whilst the people I like are, in many ways, fairly quiet too, the others are people I struggle to interact with. If this were school, they would be the popular kids, going quiet when I enter a room or talking inanely about getting drunk. At school, you just gotta deal with it. Now, it’s just uncomfortable.

I have nothing against the partying and drinking lifestyle, I just hate the notion of it. I’d much rather a quiet drink with close friends where small talk is barely a problem.

Worst of all, recently we had the Christmas party, keeping in mind I’ve only been there a couple of weeks, and it went as badly as it could’ve gone without actually being bad.

There was dancing, drinking and lots of talking, none of which I could bring myself to partake in with the small group of 40 years old I had come to be sat with.

The burger was dry, the music loud and I couldn’t wait for it to be over. I would’ve loved to have had some fun with those I could talk too. Yet they were talking to other people at other tables and I, therefore, couldn’t bring myself to squeeze out of my small seat amongst a group of rowdy co-workers and strike up a conversation

When I’m at work, I do my bit and if I get something wrong I feel like my face is on fire. But I do enjoy chatting with some people and it gives my job some joys.

Yet I don’t particularly look forward to it. The shift patterns are random and there’s never a guarantee I’ll be working with people I like. The day can either go quickly or not quick enough and I hate that uncertainty.

On the complete flip side, however, the writers club I go to met up for the last time this year in Starbucks and the atmosphere was stunningly different.

Maybe it’s because we all share similar ideals and mindsets. Maybe it’s because we’ve all been able to bare our souls to one another but when I’m at these club meetings, I feel content and comfortable in my own skin.

There’s warmth, support, friendly faces and understanding. It’s a big change.

Today we were asked to name the best thing that happened to us in 2016 and after a moment of thinking, I realised that I was sitting in it.

Clicking with like minded people is a true joy of life, more so if you rarely do it. I’m lucky to have found a group of people that I can talk openly and honestly to with no fear or hesitation. And the latest session made me realise how uncomfortable work makes me feel and how each working day can’t end soon enough.

Writers club, however, makes me feel comfortable and when it returns in January for another stab at a sarcastic, vaguely pretentious anthology book, I’ll be ready and waiting.

That’s why I’ll never be ashamed of that awkward part of me. When it really matters it won’t hold me back and I’m more than content with my life to worry about problems that don’t need fixing.

I’m happy.


4. The Two Sides of Socializing

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