Insecure Writers Support Group: But What If I Hate Socializing?


I'm not "in with the in crowd." I never was, and I never will be. The older I get, the happier I am with that. I've come to see the "in crowd" as fake, dependent on keeping up appearances, superficial in the extreme. I was the opposite of popular when I was in school, which in some ways suited me just fine, but in other ways was very painful and left scars on my psyche which will be with me until I die.
Fine and good. I'm not in school anymore. I don't go out socializing and I don't particularly want to. I don't entertain and I definitely don't want to. I'd rather wash my hair with sand than go clubbing, and the idea of online dating, speed dating, or anything with the word "date" in it except for "how about trying this recipe for date bars" sounds about as enjoyable as eating soap. In other words, I've become okay with being asocial. It's even become a bit trendy to be an "introvert," which kind of makes me gag. The last thing I want to be is "trendy."
A funny thing I've noticed is that there are a lot of people who confuse "introvert" with "jerk." I was in a Facebook group for introverts for a time and I left that in the dust fairly quickly. The people there mostly seemed to want to use their "introvert" status as an excuse to act like assholes.
I may be critical and snarky when it comes to politicians and celebrities or social trends, but I am the sort who believes in punching up rather than down, and I believe in calling out attitudes, not belittling physical appearance. If Lord Dampnut and Justin Trudeau switched bodies, Lord Dampnut would still be a hateful, pea-brained, lowlife criminal. Suddenly having a conventionally attractive appearance would not make him a better person.
So, since I am far more of a badger than a social butterfly, one would think that I would be well suited to a profession such as writing. Is this the case?
The answer is both yes and no.
If asked "would you rather go to the Party of the Year (TM) and Mix and Mingle with all the Pretty People, or would you rather stay home and cocoon yourself with imaginary characters of your own design while probably drinking too much iced coffee and consuming food of questionable nutritional value but which tastes good," the latter would rise to the top every time. The only reason I enjoyed going to parties in my youth was that I knew I would end up plastered. I can't drink these days and I can't abide hangovers, so at this point asking me to go to a party is pretty much like asking me if I want to spend the night cleaning toilets. I really, really, really don't want to do either.
However, if you want to be a Successful Writer or a Successful Anything, pretty much, you are supposed to socialize, which makes things difficult for those of us who are shy, introverted, and whose tippling days have long since been buried by time and dust. There are times when I have trouble making myself reply to comments because of my social anxiety. With parties, at best I spend the entire time feeling completely out of place and hoping I can find a large plant to hide behind. A Social Butterfly I am not.
Similarly, the idea of joining a writer's group is about as appealing to me as drinking a quart of milk. Hint: I'm lactose intolerant.
So, am I now going to spring a Happy Ending on you where I forced myself to go to lots of parties and am now the Toast of the Town, my first best-seller is going to win some sort of prize, I am now super duper uber conventionally thin and attractive and look like a supermodel, and I am about to marry the Handsome Prince (TM) and live Happily Ever After?
Newp.
I am going to tell you that I have no idea in hell what to do about hating to socialize while enjoying participation in a field that is very attractive to introverts but yet still being expected to be sociable so people will like me and therefore take an interest in my work. However, if you are like me in this way, you now have the knowledge that you are not alone.
Yeah...I didn't promise that it was a particularly inspiring answer. Sorry about that.

~Cie~


I'll admit that this is an "in" crowd that I'd like to have had the opportunity to sit in with!
 

3 comments:

  1. You don't have to pretend to be anything/one that you're not. Being "social" online is different than in person. You can do it on your terms in your own time. Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I wish you the best.

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  2. I must admit, I giggled throughout your post. Lots of sarcasm there, sprinkle around the truth of it all. This is the perfect group for introverts of all kind. In person, I can start a conversation with anyone. Online, however, I clam up completely. I think it’s the physical disconnect between me and the other person reading what I write. I can’t see you, shake your hand, feel your vibe... Are you even reading my post or comment? I totally get the whole popularity contest feel, and sometimes I wish for more thumbs up and clicks and hearts or whatever the metric is for popularity online, but I value true feedback, true connections. Quality is better than quantity in this sphere.

    As to how to get out there, just comment where it feels right. Sometimes I can’t connect with a blogger and so I don’t comment. I don’t want to be false in any way. Sometimes I do connect with a blogger and comment something small like “That was a great short story. I truly enjoyed it.” And sometimes I post an essay... like today. :-D

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  3. Hi Mary,
    I'm not very social in person either. I can fake the small talk necessary to do my job, but that's about it.

    Hi Tanya,
    Like you, I don't comment on posts which just really aren't my bag. Unlike when I was younger, I realize now that I can't change anyone's mind. If I really disagree with them, I just leave it alone.
    Poetry, I find, is hard to comment on. Sometimes I really like a poem, but I can't think of anything more intelligent to say than "I really liked this poem."

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