Friday, November 21, 2008


New Yorkers get a bad reputation in the rest of the world for being cold and rude, which is why it's ironic that it wasn't until I moved here from the Midwest that I got accused of being just that way by New Yorkers themselves.

Throughout my 5 year tenure at work, many of my coworkers have told me I am a rude person (I'm ignoring the fact for now, that the act of accusing someone of being rude, is in itself rude). I acknowledge that I am not overly friendly. I do not go out of my way to have mindless conversations or ask people how they are. I am generally a private person who respects the privacy of others and don't delve into their personal lives. Part of the issue is also that I work in an uber-casual environment, where the line between work and personal life is very blurry and I don't attend many after business-hours work functions.  I have another job that I do from home at night and can't always take time off from that to be social. Truth be told though, there is a bigger reason for my aloofness.

I suffer from social anxiety. Being around other people sometimes terrifies me. On the really bad days it takes me 2 tries to get out of the house and onto the subway to work, on the good days I can quietly feel nauseus without anyone around me knowing. I tend to shy away from most situations that involve my being around other people and I don't willingly engage people I don't know well. It's something that I'm working on, and I have been trying to force myself to attend events and do things with other people that I normally would shy away from, but it's still a rarity.
I know I shouldn't be upset for the misunderstanding. If I'm unwilling to admit my faults/problems to others, I can't expect them to judge me fairly. It's a choice I make not to make my anxiety known and I have to accept that there are consequences for that. Ultimately, I know I have to believe in who I am, but it pains me that to some people at least, that doesn't show through.

1 comment:

ccw said...

I have a friend with severe anxiety. He manages to get to work and manage his employees but it is a task to get there. He even told me that driving is difficult because he worries what the other drivers are thinking of him.