anxiety · family · job anxiety · life · social anxiety

Perception Is Everything

Seems like finally getting a job in real life has upped the ante for me in regards to the number of blog posts I’ve put out recently. It’s definitely not a marketing strategy, I can promise you that. If I could work full-time making a sustainable amount of money and chill at home doing basically whatever I want, I wouldn’t even have bothered making the effort to get a job where I have to be around people.

People scare me. Opening myself up and talking to them scares me. Period. Around my own parents, I bounce between being too uncomfortable to share much of anything with them (depending on the topic at hand or what kind of mood I am in) to sometimes having sporadic moments where I talk to them about things and I think, “Hey, this isn’t so bad.” Today after work when I returned home was one of those good sporadic moments. I didn’t share everything with them, but I did answer their questions with more detail than just some vague answers. It was a weird moment for me because I gave spontaneous, in the moment, and honest answers even though I felt oncoming bouts of anxiety. Usually when I’m anxious and they ask me something I don’t really want to explain, I go for the shortest answer possible as a way to avoid my own discomfort. Somehow I could feel the improvement in myself this time when I pushed back from the anxiety. I would say that the anxiety I felt from talking with my parents was not as intense as the anxiety I feel around my co-workers in the workplace. Maybe that is normal to be uneasy around people I don’t yet know, but I have my doubts about whether I will ever be able to be casual with my coworkers or at least somewhat relaxed as I was with my parents.

This chill vibe was not without tension, though, and I got pinpricks of annoyance when my parents nagged at me a bit about some aspects of my job and about non-job related things. For example, my father suggested I arrive at least a few minutes earlier to work. I know he’s trying to be helpful and had a friend told me this instead of him, I would have no ill feelings about the advice, but because it’s my dad, I instantly feel like he is trying to advise me because I’m young and inexperienced in his eyes. On the opposite side of the spectrum, I am aware I may be projecting my own insecurities onto my father and assuming he thinks I am young and inexperienced when he doesn’t. Same with my mom, except she is more prone to giving me health advice. Like, she told me to not eat ice cream when I’m on my period or I’d get a stomachache. On the one hand, okay, I can see how she might not want me to get sick, but somehow whenever I get this kind of warning, something inside me almost wants to lash out and rebel from the perceived control she is exerting over me. Or is it that I believe she is trying to control me because deep down I fear being vulnerable and never want to lose control? These are the things I consider in my head.

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