Fear of Social Awkwardness

To know me is to know that I am an introvert. For a long time I didn’t know what it was about me. How come I wasn’t always “on”? Why did I get really quiet sometimes when out with my friends? How come I was so socially…awkward? I wasn’t shy, but if you embarrassed me in front of people I would mentally put myself in a shell until I could privately be alone to work out my thoughts. I could party all night on Saturday, but then I was good to not go out again for another 2 weeks. When I took the Meyers-Briggs blah blah blah test, I had my aha moment. I loved learning so much about me. Okay, it didn’t exactly help me to feel normal knowing that I had one of the most unique outcomes (INTJ), but at least I knew what I was dealing with.

Now that I have a child I feel the pressure to make her as socially normal as possible. This morning a mom invited us to see a play and I was all over it! I was like yes! She didn’t even give me a date or time, but it didn’t matter. In my drive to make Johanna socially great, I will erase everything off of my calendar to make it to this event I’m sure. I keep thinking I just want her to be normal. One of my greatest fears is that she will be just like me. I don’t want her to walk around feeling misunderstood. I want people to get her and to love her. I don’t want her to feel like an outsider, or feel bad about who she is because that is what people have done to me. It wasn’t until I was 30 that I was comfortable with who I am. I’m an introvert and that is OK! It really is ok. I will never have a million friends because as introverts we don’t let people in our inner circle that easily. I will never be the center of attention because I just don’t want to be. I will never go out to a party every weekend because I need time to just be in myself and download. That’s all quite alright. However, I don’t want Johanna to feel the pain of growing up as an introvert and everyone putting their labels on you while you’re thinking “just let me be great!”.

Truth be told, Johanna is quite introverted. I would be surprised if she wasn’t because I’m one and so is my husband. It is my goal everyday to learn how to cater to her personality instead of letting society try to change her into the extrovert that she isn’t. That also means that mama has to relax too. Whatever will be will be. Whoever Johanna turns out to be is what it is and that’s ok. I need to learn not to make my own personal struggles hers.

Are there any characteristics you had as a child that you are afraid your child will have as well? What have you done to calm your fears?

~JM

8 thoughts on “Fear of Social Awkwardness

  1. We have the same Meyers Briggs letters! Great post. To answer your question at the end, I don’t want z to be afraid of animals. But alas, she’s freaked out by every creature. You are doing a great job with jojo.

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  2. Definitely an introvert here. As in afraid to order at a restaurant for myself up through high school. My husband is, too. Somehow our daughter is a BIG social butterfly. She starts kindergarten this year and I am trying to change my ways so she will remain her social self.

    Pinned this!

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    • Wow, while I think I would want Johanna to be an extrovert, I think it would also give me a bit of anxiety! I’m glad that you are letting your little butterfly fly regardless of your own introversion. Thank you for your comment and for pinning 🙂

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  3. I’m a huge introvert, and I see some of the same tendencies in my oldest child. I just finished reading a book called Quiet by Susan Cain. It’s a little lengthy but it really opened my eyes on why I am the way I am…and there’s some good info in there about introvert parents raising introverted children. You should check it out 🙂

    Stopping in from SITS Sharefest! Have a great weekend 🙂

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  4. Pingback: You can count on me to mess it up | Not-So-Fat, Fat Girl's Diary

  5. Pingback: Separation Anxiety…or Something More? | johannasmama

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