So I’m pretty sure that I have mentioned before on this space that I am not a people person, far from it but nothing has made me realise my short comings when it comes to social connections than this past year of trying actively to become more social and connect with people.
I am not sure when it happened, I know I have always been on the lower end of the social scale, I have been prone to keep my friendship circle small… super small preferring a trusted group of 1 or 2 to a social crowd, I have also always preferred male company to female company although I have always had at least one good female friend I can rely on.
As the years have gone on though and especially after I had Loghan and then even more so after my separation from my ex I shut down completely to the point where I pretty much had no social circle and although I had many acquaintances I did not have anyone I felt I could rely on, I don’t know about anyone else but I have found a break up between two people who share a social circle to be the worst, people almost always pick a side and it becomes hard to trust anyone with your feelings and issues, I found after my ex and I split that I lost almost everyone and in the end I just cut the rest off because I felt so betrayed, to this day I have people from that time approaching me or sending me messages of apologies for how they reacted and treated me at that time, the truth is there are always 3 sides to every story, his side my side and the truth, sometimes what I believe or what you believe to be the truth at the time can change as you grow and move forward your perceptions of what happened change like a veil is lifted and you can see booth the mistakes made by the other party as well as your own.
In any case I am straying off topic, so since then I pretty much shut down my social circle until about a year or so ago when I decided it had to change, I have a child actually 2 who struggle terribly with social interaction and I often wondered if this was due to my own social issues, our children learn from our own actions and displays and I am sure that it has never gone amiss that I prefer to stay at home like a hermit than go out and mingle with my children in tow, I have never been the mom who holds play dates or takes my children to social activities and of late I have been incredibly sorry for it.
Over the past few months I have actively worked at changing that but I find it incredibly difficult to relate to people of my own age, my husband is older and so are the majority of people whom I connect with, often people laugh when I tell them my age, I’m 29 and most days I don’t feel like it, have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and felt that you were stuck in the body of someone older or younger than your soul.
I’m trying and sometimes I feel like I am failing… big time, someone reaches out to me and it’s like a vampire in the sunlight hiss and burn, someone gave me a hug this week and I felt my whole body recoil not because I don’t like the person or their company or feel that we are heading down a road of friendship, its simply because I am not used to it and it takes me a long time to reach that level with someone, there are very few people in my life who I will hug and interact with in that manner I often feel like as much as my kids are learning I am to, someone told me a while back that this social awkwardness in today’s generation is due to social media and our inability to communicate on anything that isn’t a smart device; instagram, facebook, twitter, whatsapp,youtube.
You walk into a restaurant and see people sitting across from each other on their phones, I actually remarked to my hubby the other day that kids born today will never know what it was like to use a call box, or to wait anxiously by the phone for 7pm so your mom would unlock the phone and you could call your friend for an hour (that was all you had between the end of school and the start of it the next day), they will never know what it is like to have a pen pal or keep a written diary, some may never own a photo album all because of social media, it makes you think doesn’t it?
Are we headed into an age where all children will need to be taught how to interact with each other on a social level, where we ourselves will struggle, combined with the increase in cases of anxiety depression and other social or emotional disorders in an age where you don’t have to leave the house to do anything; you need groceries, you can order online, you need clothes, make up, you need to pay your bills etc all of it can be down online, really the only thing that keeps many of us from becoming live in hermits is a day job and even that you can do from home these days, combine this with discouraging crime statistics social interaction can become a very scary topic, but I have realised that I owe it to my children and myself to change what I feel had become a debilitating personality trait, I don’t need or want to have a huge social circle but I think helping my kids pave a good way to their own social interactions as well as for myself is a good thing and one I hope to continue working on, I enjoy interacting with the people I have opened up to over the last few months, I have made one or two amazing friends and rekindled a few old friendships that I was actually sorry to have pushed aside and through this I feel that I have grown as a person and I feel like my kids and everyone around me can see that.
I don’t know how do you feel, do you think social interaction is a thing of the past, do you feel like you have changed socially and that you are providing your children with a solid grounding for social interaction and relationships?