Much Ado About Nothing

I’m pissed.

I came home and my neighbors were out with their adorable children, enjoying the sunshine still lingering at 8:17 pm. Why am I pissed? Well, now that they’re out I have two choices:

(a) Ignore the racing heartbeat and steadily building anxiety, work up some courage, and walk to my door—politely stopping to give an awkward greeting—before playing my “unlock the door as fast as I possibly can” game and isolating myself.


(b) Walk for an hour or so until I’m certain they have all gone inside.

On this particular evening, I choose Option B. I walk to the Safeway about a mile from my apartment to pick up some diet tonic water (my substitute for the Maker’s and Jameson I shouldn’t buy/drink), and immediately recognize that I’ve walked fifteen blocks only to encounter the same dilemma: other human beings. (It is a grocery store, after all.)

“The sheer audacity of someone else existing,” I think to myself. “What nerve.”

Of course, I am being sarcastic. Those two choices were not the only two choices. That situation was, in fact, a self-manufactured conundrum. But “the problem that isn’t a problem”—that is, the problem with my brain cataloging a non-issue as an issue—remains. There are people in that store, in every lane (even the Express Lane), and I am at the same damn crossroad of co-existence or avoidance.

Maybe it’s because I walked there, maybe it’s because the guy in front of me is attractive, or maybe I’ve just got too much pride to take the path of least resistance twice in one night, but I choose to wait in line. My hands are shaking, and my brain begins to sift through possible conversation topics with the checkout woman.

“How was your day? Long shift? Did you get to see the sun today? Any good Red Box recommendations? Have you been vaccinated for anything interesting lately?” Okay, maybe not that last one, but you get the gist.

Then, in horror, I listen as the dark-haired twenty-something with football shoulders turns out to be the world’s best casual, “bullshit-you-ask-in-checkout-line” conversationalist, and goes through a list of every single talking point with said cashier.

Well…so much for that.

“How are you?” she asks.

“Good, how about yourself?” he says.

“Oh, pretty good. Just a short shift today,” she replies. “Started at five, only working until ten.”

“Nice. Any plans?”

“Oh, I’ll probably watch a movie and go to bed.”

“That sounds good. I’m gonna do the same.”

This continues for a few more seconds until his groceries are bought and paid for. Then it’s my turn.

“How are you?” she asks.

“Good…Thanks.” I say. I would ask how she is, but that just seems silly…like when the ticket holder at the movie theater tells you to “Enjoy the show” and you absentmindedly reply, “You too!” Seriously though, I was standing right there as she told the hottie in front of me how her day was, when her shift ends, and what she plans on doing later. What more could there possibly be to say? Hell, she might have even mentioned her retirement plans, if she has children, and what her favorite color is. In any case, it’s hopeless trying to think up something new and just insignificant enough to be socially acceptable. And I can’t think under (social) pressure for the life of me.

So silently and defeated, I enter my Safeway card ID, get my deal (2 for $3!), and feel badly that my main contribution to her day and well being is a sheepish smile. The only interaction we end up sharing is a series of facial expressions and an awkward line about how I don’t need a paper bag because I’m going to put my purchase in my backpack. Unfortunately, my hands are shaking a bit so it’s a little difficult to do this in a timely manner after paying, so I take my purchase and backpack to the nearest in-store Starbucks’ table so as to not take up unnecessary time from the person behind me whilst manhandling my laptop in order to fit my frivolous beverage procurement.

This is stupid. This is so incredibly stupid. But this is me. This is my brain on….People. Or, more specifically, interaction with people.

Realizing that you have social issues is kind of like realizing that you’re allergic to cats or pollen, except that no one babies you and agrees to put their beloved pets in the garage so that you can chat with them in their living room without sneezing and looking like you just snorted a line of cocaine. No. You just suck it up. You deal with it. You stand there and socially wheeze your way through daily exchanges as if you’re just fine, when what you need is a huge dose (or, in my case, a constant IV drip) of extroversion Benadryl.

The pathetic and ironic thing about social anxiety is that facing your fears on a daily basis is exhausting but ultimately the only medication other than, well, medication. And medication just masks your symptoms, like it would for any other ailment or imbalance.

In a way, it’s nothing to complain about. It makes you value the friends you have who don’t take excess energy, those moments when you don’t over think every syllable that comes out of your yapper, and it keeps you humble on a regular basis. You also learn a lot about yourself and others that might otherwise go unnoticed. Social details stand out more when you’re hypersensitive to social interaction of any kind.

Think of social anxiety like wearing 3D glasses all the time. Your eyes don’t need 3D glasses unless you’re watching the latest Blockbuster shit show requiring visual enhancement in lieu of an actual plot. Likewise, your brain doesn’t need to over analyze what “How are you?” actually meant when that coworker who hasn’t spoken to you for days stops you in the hallway. Chances are, they’re just being social. (There’s that word again…)

Crazy, right?

The sad fact of it all is that avoiding people altogether is avoiding reality. Realistically, people are meant to be together. We’re meant to mingle in a flurry of viewpoints and attitudes and personalities and functions, and avoiding all that is avoiding life. And yes, there are days for that, but like all methods of distraction (TV shows, alcohol, dessert, tabloids), it must be done in moderation.

I guess this is the epitome of a first world problem, but fortunately it’s got a first class solution: Get out. Live. Listen. Talk.

In other words, just go to happy hour once in a while—even if it’s initially nerve wracking.



Photo Source:

Comments 95

  1. I simply want to tell you that I’m new to blogging and absolutely loved your blog site. Very likely I’m want to bookmark your blog post . You definitely have wonderful writings. Thanks a bunch for revealing your website.

  2. I just want to mention I’m very new to blogs and absolutely liked this page. Likely I’m planning to bookmark your site . You certainly come with remarkable posts. Regards for revealing your website page.

  3. I simply want to mention I am very new to blogging and site-building and honestly loved you’re website. Almost certainly I’m planning to bookmark your blog post . You actually come with perfect writings. Regards for sharing your website page.

  4. I simply want to mention I am just beginner to blogging and seriously liked this web-site. Most likely I’m likely to bookmark your blog post . You really come with great writings. Thanks a lot for sharing your webpage.

  5. I simply want to mention I am very new to blogging and site-building and really enjoyed you’re web blog. Almost certainly I’m likely to bookmark your site . You surely have tremendous stories. Thanks a lot for revealing your blog site.

  6. Thank you for every other magnificent article. The place else could anyone get that kind of information in such an ideal approach of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I’m at the search for such info.

  7. We’re a group of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community. Your site offered us with helpful information to work on. You’ve performed an impressive task and our entire neighborhood will probably be grateful to you.|

  8. I think this is one of the most vital info for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But wanna remark on some general things, The web site style is ideal, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers|

  9. Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this website. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s tough to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and visual appeal. I must say that you’ve done a awesome job with this. Also, the blog loads super fast for me on Chrome. Superb Blog!|

  10. Incredible points. Solid arguments. Keep up the good effort.|

  11. I believe this is one of the such a lot important information for me. And i am satisfied reading your article. However should remark on some common things, The website style is perfect, the articles is in point of fact great : D. Just right process, cheers|

  12. I haven¡¦t checked in here for some time since I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are good quality so I guess I¡¦ll add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend :)

  13. Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really helpful & it helped me out a lot. I am hoping to give something back and aid others such as you helped me.

  14. Thank you a lot for providing individuals with such a memorable chance to discover important secrets from this blog. It can be so pleasing plus jam-packed with a great time for me and my office colleagues to visit the blog on the least thrice in one week to find out the new things you have got. And of course, I’m at all times impressed considering the incredible guidelines served by you. Certain 1 facts on this page are in fact the most effective we have all had.

  15. This article offers clear idea in support of the new viewers of blogging, that actually how to do blogging.|

  16. I was just searching for this information for some time. After six hours of continuous Googleing, at last I got it in your web site. I wonder what is the lack of Google strategy that don’t rank this kind of informative websites in top of the list. Usually the top websites are full of garbage.

  17. I like the helpful info you supply in your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and take a look at again right here regularly. I’m reasonably sure I will be informed plenty of new stuff right right here! Best of luck for the following!|

  18. I think the admin of this website is really working hard in support of his site, as here every material is quality based stuff.|

  19. Why visitors still use to read news papers when in this technological globe everything is accessible on web?|

  20. Hi there would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re using? I’m looking to start my own blog soon but I’m having a hard time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique. P.S My apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!|

  21. You could definitely see your enthusiasm in the article you write. The arena hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. All the time follow your heart.|

  22. It’s going to be end of mine day, except before end I am reading this wonderful post to increase my knowledge.|

  23. Hi there, just wanted to tell you, I enjoyed this blog post. It was inspiring. Keep on posting!|

  24. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will certainly comeback.

  25. That is a very good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Brief but very accurate info… Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read article!|

  26. I’m amazed, I must say. Seldom do I come across a blog that’s both educative and engaging, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The issue is something too few folks are speaking intelligently about. I’m very happy I found this in my hunt for something concerning this.|

  27. I’ve been surfing online more than 4 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be much more useful than ever before.|

  28. A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment. I do think that you ought to publish more about this topic, it may not be a taboo subject but typically folks don’t discuss such topics. To the next! All the best!!|

  29. I just like the valuable info you provide on your articles. I will bookmark your blog and take a look at again here frequently. I am quite certain I’ll be told lots of new stuff proper here! Best of luck for the following!|

  30. Hello. impressive job. I did not expect this. This is a fantastic story. Thanks!

  31. Thanks on your marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you might be a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and may come back down the road. I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great job, have a nice morning!|

  32. obviously like your website however you have to test the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very troublesome to tell the truth nevertheless I¡¦ll certainly come again again.

  33. hello there and thank you for your info – I have definitely picked up anything new from right here. I did however expertise some technical points using this web site, since I experienced to reload the site lots of times previous to I could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your hosting is OK? Not that I am complaining, but slow loading instances times will often affect your placement in google and could damage your quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Well I am adding this RSS to my e-mail and could look out for a lot more of your respective intriguing content. Make sure you update this again very soon.|

  34. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an nervousness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this increase.|

  35. Hi there! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I really enjoy reading through your posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same topics? Many thanks!|

  36. I’m curious to find out what blog platform you’re utilizing? I’m having some small security problems with my latest website and I’d like to find something more safe. Do you have any recommendations?|

  37. Great write-up, I am regular visitor of one¡¦s site, maintain up the nice operate, and It’s going to be a regular visitor for a lengthy time.

  38. Hi there! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with SEO? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good success. If you know of any please share. Thank you!|

  39. I have not checked in here for a while as I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are good quality so I guess I¡¦ll add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend :)

  40. Hi, i think that i noticed you visited my blog so i got here to go back the favor?.I am attempting to to find things to improve my web site!I assume its adequate to use a few of your ideas!!|

  41. Hi there very nice site!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your site and take the feeds also? I’m glad to search out a lot of helpful information here in the publish, we want work out more techniques in this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .|

  42. Excellent web site you have here.. It’s hard to find good quality writing like yours these days. I honestly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!|

  43. I will right away take hold of your rss as I can not to find your email subscription link or newsletter service. Do you have any? Kindly permit me realize so that I may just subscribe. Thanks.|

  44. Very shortly this web page will be famous among all blogging visitors, due to it’s fastidious articles or reviews|

  45. Great information. Lucky me I ran across your website by chance (stumbleupon). I’ve book marked it for later!|

  46. If you would like to take a good deal from this post then you have to apply such strategies to your won blog.|

  47. An interesting discussion is worth comment. I do think that you need to write more about this subject matter, it might not be a taboo matter but usually people don’t discuss these topics. To the next! Many thanks!!|

  48. Hey would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working with? I’m going to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a tough time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique. P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!|

  49. I visited various web sites however the audio feature for audio songs existing at this site is really fabulous.|

  50. What i don’t realize is in fact how you’re not actually much more smartly-preferred than you might be right now. You are so intelligent. You already know thus considerably in relation to this subject, produced me for my part imagine it from so many various angles. Its like men and women are not interested until it’s one thing to accomplish with Girl gaga! Your personal stuffs excellent. All the time deal with it up!|

  51. Thanks for finally talking about > %blog_title% < Loved it!|

  52. Currently it appears like BlogEngine is the preferred blogging platform available right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?|

  53. For most recent news you have to go to see world wide web and on web I found this web page as a finest website for latest updates.|

  54. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I will be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently rapidly.

  55. What’s up to all, how is the whole thing, I think every one is getting more from this web page, and your views are nice designed for new people.|

  56. Wow, amazing weblog layout! How lengthy have you ever been blogging for? you made running a blog glance easy. The full look of your website is magnificent, as well as the content material!

  57. I used to be suggested this blog by way of my cousin. I’m no longer sure whether or not this post is written through him as nobody else recognise such specific about my problem. You’re wonderful! Thank you!|

  58. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. thanks a lot|

  59. Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all of us you really know what you’re speaking about! Bookmarked. Please also seek advice from my web site =). We can have a hyperlink alternate arrangement among us|

  60. Thanks , I have just been looking for information approximately this subject for a while and yours is the greatest I’ve came upon so far. However, what in regards to the bottom line? Are you positive about the source?|

  61. This post is truly a good one it assists new internet visitors, who are wishing in favor of blogging.|

  62. I would like to show my thanks to you just for rescuing me from such a incident. Right after scouting through the world wide web and coming across thoughts that were not helpful, I believed my life was over. Living minus the strategies to the difficulties you have sorted out as a result of your report is a critical case, as well as ones that could have in a wrong way affected my career if I had not come across your web page. Your own know-how and kindness in playing with almost everything was excellent. I’m not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t encountered such a thing like this. I am able to now relish my future. Thanks for your time very much for this expert and amazing help. I won’t be reluctant to suggest the blog to any individual who requires tips on this situation.

  63. Wow! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a completely different topic but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Wonderful choice of colors!

  64. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an shakiness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this hike.

  65. I truly appreciate this post. I have been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thanks again

  66. After I originally commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. Is there an easy method you can remove me from that service? Thanks!|

  67. Amazing blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A theme like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog shine. Please let me know where you got your design. Kudos|

  68. WOW just what I was searching for. Came here by searching for %meta_keyword%|

  69. Hi to every single one, it’s really a nice for me to pay a visit this site, it consists of precious Information.|

  70. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You obviously know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog when you could be giving us something informative to read?|

  71. My brother recommended I might like this web site. He was totally right. This post actually made my day. You cann’t imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!|

  72. Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and help others like you helped me.|

  73. Thanks for finally talking about > %blog_title% < Liked it!|

  74. If some one desires expert view concerning blogging after that i suggest him/her to pay a visit this web site, Keep up the fastidious work.|

  75. Hurrah, that’s what I was exploring for, what a information! existing here at this webpage, thanks admin of this web page.|

  76. We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your website provided us with valuable information to work on. You’ve done an impressive job and our entire community will be thankful to you.|

  77. I believe this is one of the such a lot important information for me. And i’m glad studying your article. However should observation on few common issues, The site style is ideal, the articles is in reality excellent : D. Good process, cheers|

  78. When someone writes an paragraph he/she keeps the plan of a user in his/her mind that how a user can understand it. Therefore that’s why this post is amazing. Thanks!|

  79. Its not my first time to go to see this website, i am browsing this web site dailly and obtain fastidious facts from here everyday.|

  80. It’s an awesome article in support of all the web visitors; they will get benefit from it I am sure.|

  81. It is the best time to make a few plans for the long run and it is time to be happy. I have read this publish and if I may I want to recommend you few fascinating issues or suggestions. Perhaps you can write next articles referring to this article. I want to learn even more issues about it!|

  82. I think everything said made a ton of sense. However, what about this? suppose you added a little content? I mean, I don’t wish to tell you how to run your blog, but suppose you added something that makes people want more? I mean %BLOG_TITLE% is a little boring. You could look at Yahoo’s front page and note how they create article titles to grab viewers interested. You might add a video or a picture or two to get people interested about what you’ve written. Just my opinion, it would make your website a little livelier.|

  83. Have you ever considered creating an e-book or guest authoring on other sites? I have a blog based on the same topics you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my subscribers would appreciate your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e mail.|

  84. Hi! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing a few months of hard work due to no backup. Do you have any methods to protect against hackers?|

  85. Every weekend i used to pay a visit this site, because i wish for enjoyment, as this this web site conations really pleasant funny information too.|

  86. Very shortly this web page will be famous among all blogging and site-building people, due to it’s fastidious posts|

  87. Hey there! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having difficulty finding one? Thanks a lot!|

  88. Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a entertainment account it. Glance advanced to more delivered agreeable from you! By the way, how can we communicate?|

  89. Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon every day. It will always be interesting to read content from other writers and practice something from other sites. |

  90. My partner and I stumbled over here from a different web address and thought I might as well check things out. I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to finding out about your web page repeatedly.|

  91. After checking out a handful of the blog articles on your site, I truly appreciate your technique of writing a blog. I book marked it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back soon. Please visit my website too and let me know your opinion.|

  92. I’ve been surfing on-line greater than 3 hours these days, but I by no means discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours. It’s beautiful value enough for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made excellent content material as you probably did, the net shall be a lot more useful than ever before.|

  93. Hello Dear, are you truly visiting this site daily, if so after that you will definitely obtain nice knowledge.|

  94. Pretty! This was a really wonderful post. Many thanks for supplying these details.|

  95. What’s up to every body, it’s my first go to see of this website; this weblog contains remarkable and in fact good data designed for visitors.|

Comments are closed.