Learning How To Be Social

Profile Image Jmm   
Jun 25   
22 22 views   
Sometimes, on rare occasions, I am actually able to connect with people in a way that I would consider "normal", but for the most part, this is a huge challenge
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Growing up, I was missing certain social concepts, mainly, people skills.
Any concept that had to do with friends was non-existent to me. Not to make it sound dreary, but, I had no friends.
Growing up with no friends resulted in a lack of what some would call social behavior norms and social customs, such as going out with friends, not sleeping over at friend's houses, or even just going to other people's houses in general (I didn't even know that this was a thing until many years later!).

While I won't be going into my family and childhood history now, I will explain that it just was not really an option to have friends as a kid.
The problem wasn't having friends per se, but rather, it was the fact that after school I had to go straight home, and that is all my childhood consisted of - going to school and coming back home right after.

Jumping a few years forward, I found myself in a new situation where I actually had the opportunity to make friends, I no longer had to go home right after school, I could go out, I could go places, I can go to friends.
The only problem was actually making those friends. This, as I discovered, was a very difficult task.

I can't say that my excuse for not being able to make friends very easily (or mostly at all) was and still is because of my lack of social communication and connections in childhood, maybe even if I had those options I would still find it difficult to be social today, we can't really know what would have been.
But I do feel that I am lacking in certain social skills. I feel that what seems to come easy to others barely comes to me at all.
The basics are sometimes a mystery to me, such as talking to people, even to people that I have known for years, people that I feel I know very well, but, sometimes it's as if I don't know myself well enough to feel the confidence I need to be able to have a proper conversation with them (in comes the awkward silence).

Sometimes, on rare occasions, I am actually able to talk about these things with certain people, but even with their best intentions, they are not able to fully understand me, though they do try and to some degree do understand my point of view, or the idea of what I am saying, and can even agree with it to some extent.

Learning how to be social is an ongoing practice for me, with some people it's easier, but even then I find myself in a strange position where I feel very awkward, embarrassed, and wanting to just get away. It feels unnatural for me to be close to people, to have close friends, to talk to people and share with them thoughts and things that are happening in my life.
In a way, it feels unnatural for me to have friends. But I feel that to keep these friends that I somehow managed to gain, I have to push through these awkward moments and feelings, and not step back, I have to stay present in the moment of progress that I have made.
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I'm on a journey of better understanding. To better understand myself, who i am, what i want, and to try and understand others a little bit better too.

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