Sunday, June 5, 2022

Social Awkwardness and Anxiety

I have been socially an awkward person for as long as I have known. I can be called an introvert...a socially-phobic and anxious person! It is not easy to put up with me! And it's not very easy to believe it because in an office atmosphere or at social gatherings I try my best and behave as if I am comfortable. Truth be told, I would be suffocating and waiting for the ordeal to end if I have to connect and keep talking to people for long. If I really connect with a person, I talk about anything and everything, but that connection happens rarely. In the recent past ( maybe in new normal) I have a feeling that I actually can connect better only with people who read or write and rest all even if are close to me, I don't feel that spark, the joy or the connect! With writers/readers who mostly are like-minded folks, I won't be standing on the pedestal explaining my excitement, burdened thoughts, anxiety, or emotions! Anyway more on it later.

I just wanna narrate a funny incident which happened in my apartment. I went to a ceremony in a neighbor's house, which is again a big deal to me coz there r groups and then groups and just the sea of people wherever you see. Needless to say it makes me anxious, so anxious that I breathe in , breathe out at times! No. I am not kidding. I always find a quite corner in any social event , specially during family or neighborhood events or functions ! I want to be that wall flower and want every one to forget me. I know some of you must be frowning as my personality online doesn't seem the same! So I sat across the host who is a friend, and managed small talks with few around...the usual.." how are you!? How do u do? Did maid come? How's health? Are u working out" and such.

Even if I am not very outgoing, I am cordial. I try to maintain social dignity and just talk. My daughter so far is a people person - a contrasting personality when compared with me. So in that ceremony, I spot this one woman who is good-looking, has a good smile, and seemed friendly with all. A week before she had some other party at her home …and there was a last-minute invitation ( a phone call to my husband by some other member of her family) while we were all out for some long personal errand. My husband attended the party for a while, once we came back. He is quite social and has many friends among our neighbors! I was engrossed in housework, feeding Zaara and putting her to sleep. I tried saying an audible enough hi and simply tried just saying that we missed your party that day ...such and such...blah blah...I didn't even finish the sentence and I observed that she was plain ignoring me. Ignore as in, I am talking to her...and she glared at me and looked at the roof, at walls, at other people and exchanged smiles with them, etc. much to the amusement of some who were surrounding me :) and I was befuddled! I was trying to recollect if she and I spoke at any time or had any differing opinions or arguments ( in present digital circumstances it is quite a possibility). I had no memory of talking to her ever. I observed that she was talking fine with everyone but meπŸ˜‚ For a while I was confused, analyzed, and overanalyzed the situation, then forgot as I felt clueless.

I had my lunch (that is important 😜), spent some time, and finally left. I went on with my day but that event was poking me in the back of my mind! Anyhoo I buried it.

In the evening we all decided to go to the park for a walk. As we entered the elevator, there were a bunch of kids... playing, shouting, and in their usual high spirits! Zaara knows most of them and two slightly elder kids  (a 10-11 yr old and maybe an 8 yr old) who like her a lot started talking to her and pampering her! The 10-11-year-old girl suddenly looks at me and says:

"Aunty. I wanted to meet you from so long!"

I was puzzled, and asked : "Me???"

"Yes Aunty. I read your blog so!"

An elated me: "Wow ! Really?"

"Yes. I specially read Zaaras posts. That poem and also Zesty Zaara (she was talking about my A - Z posts) - they are just awesome!"

"Thank You so much. I feel awesome too as you read it. But how did you know my blog ?"

" My uncle read it and he showed to me!"

"Oh! So cool."

"Yes Aunty, you should show to Zaara when she grows! She will love it!"

I said Ya definitely, and we reached their floor. We said bye to each other. 

I was amazed by the acknowledgement and calm attitude, a 11 year old showed! Felt surprised by the fact that she could read my blog so well.  I spoke to her with so much ease. I loved every bit of that happy and honest talk.

As the day ended, it dawned on me that I may talk well with only a select group of adults, but I can manage talks with all the kids! The little girl made me so happy and I forgot the awkward moment from my morning!

And here comes the crazy twist - the girl who honoured me with her appreciation is the kid of the lady who gave me cold shoulder πŸ˜‚πŸ˜…πŸ˜‚ It felt super crazy once I realised it. I mean God has his own ways I suppose! 

The reason I am writing all this on the blog is cuz I am comfortable here. I can speak to myself and share my thoughts transparently with a few like-minded folks. If you are also socially anxious like me, you will understand what I am saying! If I talk all this with some other friends who even after knowing me pretty well, would still say, "Take it easy!" and label me an "OverThinker!"

To some extent they are true, overthinking never helps, but not being mute and sharing thoughts does here I am writing it on my blog! 

By the way for doing what - I was subjected to a cold stare and shoulder still remains a mystery!!πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ but what is life without a little mystery isn't it? Have you ever been in a socially awkward situation? Are you an introvert? How do you handle yourself in social gatherings?

Do share your experiences :) 


  1. Being appreciated feels nice. My situation is pretty hopeless. I am the queen of social awkwardness be it adults or kids (I treat people equally) and in my society other than a few nobody even knows I exist. Yo

    1. I am known in my society only due to ZaaraπŸ˜›πŸ˜‚ before i had no identity :)

  2. You are not alone in this. I hardly socialise for the same reason. Even if i participate in an event out of necessity, i keep my mouth shut lest i end up putting my foot in it.

    1. Ya am not a great talker too. I rack my brain to search topics coz the vibe or sync happens with very very less people....i too end up foot in mouth some times :) hope I knew who was commenting?? Anyway thanks

  3. That was a shame that neighbor gave you the cold shoulder. Her loss. Maybe she was having a bad day? But still no excuse! Glad you made the connection with her daughter, though. Maybe the neighbor was offended by something you wrote in your blog? I'm socially awkward too. I've learned to adapt to it but I prefer not being in big groups or gatherings and avoid them if at all possible :)


    1. As my blog came in conversations that's the one thought I too got. I don't write many controversial topics but ya there is this faint possibility that any of my blog posts may hav offended.....but that thing didn't bother me after the sweet girls enthu and Feedback..genuine Nd more positive than many adults ❤️

  4. Afshan, I totally understand your delimma and anxiety over someone's cold behavior without any rhyme or reason. Some people can be inherently jealous or just try to act high and mightyπŸ™„ . Forget, forgive and move on, is what I would do in a similar situation.πŸ˜‡ Just focus on the genuine appreciation you received from the lady's daughter 🀩

  5. The twist was really a surprise πŸ˜…
    I remember PPL thinking Afshan as a men in our work place. Later only they use to feel nice meeting you 😜
    You have your identity... it's only highlighted due to Zaara.. Hatsoff to you for raising such a super duper kid 😍

  6. I would have not guessed that you had social anxiety in person because you write so openly on this blog. I too find crowds a chore unless I can find that one person to relate to. You never know what has happened to someone or what they are thinking, so it works best if you ignore their mean behavior. However, I know that that is easier said than done.

  7. I think maybe the lady's brother (the kid's uncle) must have told his sister (the lady) - Look at Zaara's Mom! How amazingly she writes about her daughter. Maybe you could try too! On second thought, vile as it may seem, this is a characteristic more displayed by women, but for a second let's assume the Uncle did it. I would take it as a compliment! :D

  8. Writers are over-thinkers. I too write blog posts because I can say here what i won't say elsewhere precisely because I'll sound awkward there.

    This is the second time I'm trying to comment here. Hope this goes through.
    The fist attempt was a few days ago 😊

  9. Interesting post. Loved reading it. Me and my late wife are extreme extroverts. We both can handle a room full of complete strangers and come away at the end at least with 4 dinner invitations. HeHeHe. If we were in your situation, we would give her the benefit of doubt that she may have a hearing problem. Therefore, go near her face to face and ask her how she is doing and tell her we are sorry we missed her party the other day. Preferably touching her arm. Want to see her reaction.


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