So I suppose I should warn you that this isn’t the typical “haha look how shit Portlaoise is” kind of blog post (apologies, I’ll find something new to make fun of soon for you all). This is actually a more personal post than you’re used to (so if you stop reading now, I completely understand).
I wanted to write about this because it’s something that I thought was completely normal that everyone dealt with until about 2 weeks ago when I had a chat with a few of the gals and they informed that it was not, in fact, as normal as I had believed. So basically, what I need you to do (an interactive blog post?! What is this?!) is imagine those pre-exam nerves you get, or maybe the nerves before an interview of some sort- just imagine having butterflies in your stomach, but not the good kind. Now multiply those butterflies by about 10 and you will understand how I, and many people like me, feel about any situation that isn’t familiar…and sometimes even familiar situations.
Basically, I’m nervous in almost every aspect of everything ever. And what I’m here to do is not to help people who also get anxious about the littlest things, but to help people who don’t get anxious understand what it’s like for the rest of us so you don’t sit around bitching about how people are anti-social (or maybe you don’t do that, I don’t know, but paranoia is a common trait of us nervous folk).
I mean, I’m not gonna get into a whole big “look, do this and this and this and everything is fine”. Literally all we want is for you to understand that sometimes (most of the time) we don’t want to do certain things because we’re too nervous about it. And a lot of the time there’s no reason for our nerves – or our reason is so ridiculous we can’t bring ourselves to tell you because it’s too embarrassing to admit (one time I didn’t go to a sleep over because I was nervous their aunts and uncles would show up unexpectedly and I would have to deal with meeting grown ups…that was genuinely once a worry of mine).
But look, I could rant all day about how I get so panicked about tutorials that I don’t go sometimes or how I got really nervous that one time after the Leaving Cert when we all went to Aoife Del’s house because I was afraid the girls would be like ‘wow why are you here, when did you join this group ya loser’, but I won’t. I’ll just say that if you have a friend who is more introverted than most, don’t get mad when they don’t go places with you- it’s nothing personal, that’s just a nerve wracking experience. Sometimes I lose count how many times I have to cross the road to avoid dodgy looking 17 year old boys (I say 17 year olds, but the age usually ranges from about 8 to 40).
So just keep in mind that some people can’t call people on the phone because it’s too awkward and it makes their heart beat unnaturally fast and they’re not quite sure why. And keep in mind that some people can’t go up to a shopkeeper and ask for help because my god does that cause heart palpitations on a whole new level. And keep in mind that some people aren’t confident and outgoing enough for spontaneity.
Just try be nice to people, especially the shy awkward people because I promise we have a personality, we’re just scared you won’t like it.