Me — Being Unapproachable

(This week’s audio recording: “My Father’s Eyes“, a flash fiction piece that’s about two and a half years old at this point.)

This post may or may not sound defeatist or self-deprecating, but I don’t intend it to be that way. Most of the objective of Me posts is to talk about myself and in so doing, learn about my personality and perhaps solve some things by shedding light on my own issues.

A good friend of mine told me the other day that I’m unapproachable. It wasn’t meant in the context of “I don’t feel I can talk to you about my problems,” though. It was said to mean “You don’t make yourself available for strangers to initiate conversation with.” Simply put, I avoid all social interactions whenever possible.

This isn’t an accident. I grew up disliking people and being largely uninterested with what they have to say. It was probably learned behavior to always have headphones in, listening to music, or audiobooks, or simply be doing something that makes it difficult for somebody to talk to me without seeming like they are imposing on me.

This is the way it’s always been, really. I don’t really make friends, and the ones I do aren’t because I shared a class with them. More likely, it would be because they were mutual friends with somebody else I knew, and by hanging out with certain people I would be hanging out with a lot of people.

Now that I’m not in high school, “hanging out with people” simply doesn’t happen. I go to class, I take notes on the lecture, and then I leave to walk straight to the next class where I stare at my phone until I have to start taking more notes.

Lately, though, I’ve felt pretty lonely. It’s not the same depression I had a year ago, by any means. This is simply the desire to have somebody to talk to consistently. The number of people I’ve met in college whom I would consider a friend reaches a grand total of zero, and I’m starting to think it’s because I’m so habitually distant.

Going into the spring semester, I’ve made it a point to take my headphones out when sitting in class, and to have a more open body language as well as keeping my head up to make eye contact more of a possibility. I find it pretty much impossible to initiate conversation, simply because that’s never been who I am, so now I’m simply waiting for somebody interesting to come along and strike a conversation, and getting frustrated when that doesn’t happen.

At this point perhaps my real gripe is that I have never felt that I needed more friends, so I’ve never tried, and now I’m woefully inexperienced in social interactions. The sense of loneliness is probably enhanced by mere virtue of the fact that I am now actively seeking attention and not getting it. I notice everything now. The few friends I do have don’t text back, the short story audio recordings get (almost literally) no views even when I advertise them in the same areas I do normally, and my blog seems to be getting less attention than it used to, a feat I didn’t even think possible.

Friday I talked about the bumpy road that is actually an air bubble in a bad tire. Right now, this is my air bubble. I know it’s not the road that sucks, its a personal issue I have. I don’t know how to fix it, but at least I’ve identified the problem, and I know that’s a good start.