I do not, in fact, dislike people. Just when they are overwhelming in number. Unfortunately the number that overwhelms is a moving target.
People are vastly interesting. Interacting with them gives rise to all manner of interesting stories. I have powerful friendships and really do enjoy spending time with people I like. Some times. In some quantities. For some length of time.
I do not like being alone unless it is specifically my idea.
I think it is the control freak in me that balks at many larger-scale social situations. People just provide too much chaos in each individual. Known groups have a known behavior. I have done things with these four people before... I know how they will act and behave toward one another and toward me. There is a common set of behavioral norms.
There is more to this thought, but I can't quite tease it out at the moment.
And the mom thing gets in the mix too. I not only worry about my own interactions with the world, but my children's connections as well. When I become overly concerned with how my children interact with people I start getting a bit frazzled.
I don't want to try to "fix" my children. I don't want them to feel like there is something wrong with them if they don't want to go to parties or do things in large groups of people.
But I also don't want other people to think that they need to be fixed... so I want them to be able to "pass" for not-anxious non-introverts? Or know what that looks like?
There is a great deal of deceit wrapped in social niceties.
We say we are sorry when we are not. Sorry implies guilt. We do not feel guilty. And maybe we don't feel bad.
We allow someone's asinine assertions go unchallenged. Otherwise we will never shut up. Ever.
We don't demand fairness when slighted. Not in the lesser things. And then not in the greater things either.
We engage in behaviors we would rather not.
And we don't act on the impulses of our true self.
And then people are so impressed with what fine upstanding people we are.
Because the social repercussions of not engaging in these little deceptions is unthinkable and exhausting.
I have recently wondered if my social avoidance is more related to the anxiety part of my bipolar than the introverted part of my temperament. And if it matters. I guess it kind of does. In that symptoms of anxiety can be ameliorated. And symptoms of personality can't.
Quaker, teacher, parent,