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It's me, meep.

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meep

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I don't know how to deal with people. 
I know I am an introvert, and I've always been on the shy side (though it's hard to tell what is my natural personality vs what my parents and religion WANTED me to be). But I really feel completely, totally exhausted when interacting with people. 

Being shy, meek, with a soft voice - this is not a recipe for being taken seriously. I've tried doing a lot of work in being more assertive, appearing more confident (I feel pretty confident most of the time but apparently it doesn't come across like that), voicing my opinions, making sure I'm loud enough to be heard. Yet it always seems to go wrong. People can't just say, "I don't agree but that's your opinion" and let it be, like I see happen with other people? I feel like I'm consistently a target for argumentative people to throw up their word vomit and not letting things go. I get exhausted 1/3rd into the "argument" which is just them basically berating me and me trying to discuss things calmly with them and trying to get them to go away and leave me alone. I'll get people coming up to me and saying, "Woah, what was with that person? I'm sorry you had to deal with that, that was weird!" Was it weird? Why does this seem to always happen to me and I never see this happen to other people? 

I've always been pretty bad at making friends, but especially so at activities outside the church. Now that I'm not part of church or even really have any religious friends anymore, I don't really have friends. I haven't made any secular friends. And that's not too big of a deal. I still try but at the end of the day, I have to let things be what they are. But again - I feel like people see me as some sort of target, even when making "friends."

I will mostly keep to myself, trying not to bother anyone, I'll speak up if I need to. Usually I prefer talking to people one-on-one if I can, and that's usually when I'll start opening up if we happen to be working at the same time or partnered up for something, asking people questions about their lives, sharing a bit about mine, etc. But most people will not even acknowledge that we ever even talked or ask me questions back or try to get to know me.

Last semester at college, this young girl walked up to me and started talking to me nonstop, someone who I never talked to before but was in a class with me and sat in a totally different row. And I was instantly suspicious because this is another thing that tends to happen a lot where I'm not sure if it's normal or not - but always the people who end up wanting to be my friends are boundary pushers who have nothing in common with me. They talk so much and so fast that I can never get a word in, they never ask questions about me so that I end up knowing practically everything about them but they probably could not say a single thing they know about me or my life. I keep having these "friends" since I left fundamentalism and I know now what to look out for. She kept saying we should eat lunch together and I said no thank you, I need peace and quiet at lunch to recharge my emotional batteries, but still she kept pushing and pushing about it day after day and I kept saying no (I never ate lunch with her). She kept wanting to sit on the bus next to me and I told her my backpack was way too big to fit on the ground, I needed the seat next to me, at one point she physically pushed herself on the seat next to me but the bus driver yelled at her before I could say anything. Many times while talking to me, she would say insulting things about the way I look or my mannerisms or even my age, to which I just say flippant comments back - at one point, I just put my ipod buds in to ignore her - and she still kept following and talking to me! This is just the most recent example of what I perceive to be the same "type" of person who I seem to "attract" for some reason unbeknownst to me. 

At work, there was one workplace where I got along with people, but the rest of my workplaces I haven't, and I don't know what the difference is. My most recent workplace was made up entirely of women who at first seemed nice and welcoming, but over time became colder towards me and then outright nasty, which still puzzles me. They complained about certain people not scrubbing the toilets, I offered to do it because I didn't mind, which I thought was a nice gesture since no one else wanted to do it. In a year of work, I only ever called in sick once and I brought in donuts the next day to make up for it. I never became an out-right friend to anyone there, but I had thought our interactions were okay and I know I was a good worker. But over time, their tone of voice changed where I was the only person who was spoken to a certain way, everyone else was allowed to do certain things but I wasn't (things like bringing in coffee for yourself or sitting in chairs). I asked them if there was something wrong, did something happen, could I fix it? They said nothing was wrong, everything was great! Then I was taken off the schedule for 3 months. When I gave my two weeks notice, I got so many angry texts from them for days that I eventually blocked everyone. I still have no clue what I did. I highlighted this incident but my other workplaces weren't much better. One workplace I had a boss that EVERY WEEK publicly accused me in front of the entire workplace of clogging the toilets with tampons (I didn't); and another workplace that consistently accused me of being late (I wasn't) to the point where it was a regular occurrence I demanded to sit in the security office so we could watch the security tapes of me walking through the doors, walking to my work space, and start working (spoiler I alert - I was NEVER late, not a single time and always did my work on time!). Why I seem to be the one at work who is consistently picked out of the group to be a scapegoat, I don't know what I do to encourage these events. 

I don't know how much of this is normal - one thing I can say about being raised in conservative Christianity is that the conformity makes it so that there is not much (at least obvious) discourse within the church. Growing up as a kid, it was easy to make friends. Even if you didn't exactly especially like someone, there was an expectation that you put on a nice face and are polite. This didn't extend much to school, but all the other church activities I was part of, I never had any problems with people, everyone worked well together, there was a certain level of base respect. And since for 99% of my life, those were my ONLY activities, that's how I assumed all people operated. This still continued into my teens, into young adulthood.....like I just don't know. Maybe that was really weird. Maybe the secular world is just super harsh. I don't know. 

I don't know what's wrong with me. I don't mind being wrong, genuinely. But no one has told me what I'm doing wrong, and I wish someone would just tell me so I could try to fix it or deal with it. 

And I have no one to talk about this stuff, hence why i'm putting it here I guess, into the void of the internet to live on forever. I have my fiancé but none of these things ever happen when he's around (which reinforces that it must be something wrong with specifically me) so he thinks I'm exaggerating things and just says, "I don't know because I never had a problem with you." 

Sorry for the wall of text, just a vent. :( 

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