Wednesday, June 4, 2008

All By Myself

I'm being a brat. I know I am. Why would I admit to something like that? This blog is about being human and you do have to acknowledge your flaws as well as your good points. I am taking two classes this summer semester (it's only a 5 week semester), one of which is just piano lessons. The other is a 200G-level course, what UMB terms my "intermediate seminar." The course is about great world leaders. The visiting prof. is a nice person, very open, sociable, down-to-earth. No quizzes, no exams and no textbooks. Just a lot of packets and a total of 3 papers. After last semester's 15+ page paper, I think I can handle anything! Okay, okay, let me get to the point.

I'm a very quiet person and I hate working in groups or discussing anything in class. I prefer to sit in class, have a lecture, do my exams, read, take notes, write papers and leave. I don't care to really interact with my classmates. I've felt that way since grade school. I'm not going to be a psychoanalyst and try to figure out where the problem started but I know it's in my nature. And as most people know, it's extremely hard to change your nature. I've always preferred to do stuff alone. I never got along with my roommates at summer camp, in college, and even my bro (when we shared a room as kids). I never really took to team sports (basketball, baseball, bowling, gym class) and when we were forced to work in groups, I always ended up doing the majority of the work in anticipation that everyone else in the group wouldn't pull their own weight. Essentially, I like being alone. Not always, but most of the time. That's hard for some people to grasp if they're social butterflies but as I usually say, "to each his own."

Anyway, the prof. had us create a circle with the desks so we could "discuss" the readings. Now, I can speak up in class and I can give my opinion if pushed but I usually prefer to just listen to what others have to say, especially when I feel there is no point in arguing your opinion because it won't change anyone's mind. In the end, we're all going to pass the class, get our lousy three credits and never see each other again. What does it matter that we have to "discuss" our "feelings" and "opinions"?! Ugh! Per that last interrogative sentence from my immature side, I've decided to just suck it up and deal with it.

Consequently, the experience is making me slowly realize something. I stated I "hate" discussions and group work and realized that all "hate" really stems from a fear. In my case, a fear of socializing and rejection. Whenever I attend functions, be them church, school, family or friend-related, I always get anxious. I tend to stay to myself, act as wallpaper or go outside to get away from the crowd. However, that's not always the case. For example, I attended my high school prom and NJ's prom (ex-girlfriend) and had a blast. I danced and socialized and overall had a great time. But there have been other occasions when I went to clubs and was just outright miserable. And even worse, if cornered I get real bitchy and childish about it (e.g. cause a scene). As much as I'd like to think himself well-adjusted in life, I think it's time to address this. I've been dealing with my personal issues (physical and mental) over the past year one at a time and I think it's time to tackle this one. I am going to check around about social anxiety and see if there is counseling or group therapy I can attend to help with this.

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