I’m Guarded, and I Hate it

Yesterday was the last day of school for a few weeks. I went out with all my coworkers. They call themselves family because that is what they are to each other. They are close. They are connected. Then there’s me. Still slightly on the outside. It’s not their fault. It is really mine. I don’t like conversing in large groups surrounded by people. I don’t like having small talk. I don’t think I even know how to make small talk. I’m awkward. I’m aggressive. I’m sarcastic. Yesterday, I literally scared two people away from me. It didn’t feel good. I already felt emotionally isolated, so I ended up physically isolating myself as well.

In large groups of people, I often don’t feel worthy to speak up or even be present. I feel bad when people are stuck talking to me. Every time I say something, it sounds ridiculous and weird. I don’t know how to “jump” into conversations without feeling unwanted. I don’t know how to be myself.

This does probably stem from my anxiety and depression, but also from past “trauma”. I remember all the times I was called embarrassing due to my anxiety. How I was told that I’m dramatic and ridiculous. How I tried to start conversations and it was hard to continue them. How the last group of friends I had, I can no longer see anymore. How I hate feeling rejected.

I don’t like inviting people to things, because I don’t like people saying no. I don’t like putting myself out there, for fear of becoming hurt again – by all types of relationships. So I wait for people to come to me, but that obviously doesn’t always work. I know they can’t always be the ones initiating things, but I don’t know how to open myself up to that otherwise.

It sucks and I know that. It sucks that I’m so terrified of being rejected, that I can’t be myself. I’m so scared of being unworthy, or that my true self is not good enough, that I stay hidden for a long time. Eventually, I open up. I think I’m just tired of being hurt. I’m tired of not feeling like enough, so it’s easier to stick to myself and what I know.

But it’s time to do better. It’s time to step outside my comfort zone in relationships, not just physical activity. It’s time to let myself be seen. It’s time to accept myself as I am. It’s time to know that it’s okay to struggle and still be loved. It’s time to show up in all my messy glory. I tackled the outdoors, now it’s time to tackle relationships and myself.

1 thought on “I’m Guarded, and I Hate it”

  1. Silvia, I so relate to all you said above! So often when I interject at work I get either no response–as if I was mute and invisible–or sideways glances. Conversation for me is unnatural and difficult so I avoid it for the most part. I can express myself quite well via text, email, and posting on social media. Using these formats I have time to think and formulate my thoughts into words. My biggest obstacles are having significant social anxiety, being an introvert, and having low self-esteem. For me, stepping outside my apartment door is being way out of my comfort zone. In part I have come to terms with all this, but it is quite limiting. I hope you find ways to open up and feel more at ease in social and work situations. This can’t be forced, but recognizing even small steps forward will help you in the long run.


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