I don’t like people. (I frequently say “hate” which might be a strong word)
I’ve said that a million times before and it’s still true. One of my bosses says that too – I tell him he doesn’t because he’s so nice to everyone, but he insists that he does. Probably why I like him so much. I guess you could say I’m something of an introvert – I would rather spend time alone than in a group setting. My “fun” time is at home with a good book, writing or watching some TV. I find it very difficult to have “fun” in a group of people… can’t do it.
At the office part of what I do it interact with customers and fellow employees. People generally say I do that very well. That’s work – my job requirements (in my own head, it’s not actually written anywhere) as “Clerk of the Works” is to make sure everyone is greeted, treated with respect and made to feel comfortable… I can leave the safety of my cubicle and venture out to be of service to my company and be fine – most days.
AA taught me that – gave me the tools of handshaking, greeting everyone that came to a meeting. It was to “get me out of self” to make me think of other people instead of myself.
I think though in reflection that it served a different purpose for me… If I set the goal to shake everyones hand at a meeting then when someone started to “small talk” with me I could excuse myself and not have to pretend to be interested. Thanks AA, I just kind of attributed that to you over the last month or so… you saved me lol
I’ve been re-reading some posts on social media, personal writings and reflecting – I find the biggest part of AA that I didn’t like (besides the imaginary friend stuff) was the having to go hang out at meetings… or fellowship. That’s a key part of the AA “solution” other people. Sadly also seems to be a key part of S.M.A.R.T. recovery and LifeRing as well.
Meetings are a chore… I go through stages: dread at the realization of having to go to a meeting, anxiety, denial, acceptance, focus on getting the meeting ready, boredom, avoidance of dreaded small talk, handshaking, irritation, annoyances, anticipation (for the meeting to be over), hatred for the person sharing after the meeting should be over, joy that I get to go home and then regret that I spent several hours being nice to people when I could have been writing, reading or enjoying silence… [I’m an awful person]
The Tenth Step states:
“Most of us must admit that we have loved but a few; that we have been quite indifferent to the many so long as none of them gave us trouble; and as for the remainder—well, we have really disliked or hated them.”
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, Step 10, p 92
They go on to say that this isn’t something we should continue… that we should go out of our way to show them justice and courtesy…
I’m not a fan. Never really was. If a guy or gal are an asshole they certainly don’t deserve to be treated as anything else. (there are exceptions – customers, people that normally aren’t asshats but are having a tremendous difficulty and maybe some others… I don’t include family in exceptions, family can be assholes too as most everyone knows.)
Some people I’ve worked with rattle on about anything, everything, and it’s not work related… and I feel this obligation to pretend to pay attention. Drives me crazy – especially during lunch breaks… I’m here on my break, obviously engrossed in a kindle book or video game… I’m not here to chat, I’m here to eat and then go back to work…. Other people go to lunch to socialize… but nah, get the food eaten and then get back to why you’re not at home reading, writing or playing video games…
When I drank or used I was the life of the party – at least in my own mind. I was the clown the agreed to wear a close hanger on his head to school, or sold doorknobs to kids… I wanted to be a part of that excitement and “life”. Even in the depths of my alcoholism I would go to the bar to hang out with other people or the party…
I’ve been told over and over again the recovery requires a complete change of the way you life your life. If I used to enjoy hanging out with people and to do that I required liquid lubrication – wouldn’t the safe bet be to just avoid these types of situations…
I think so.
My friend Flo, I still write in my head “sponsor”, tells me to “not do it alone” his hearts in the right place. He’s my friend – it’s safe to say I love him, consider him family. I’m not alone as far as I’m concerned, I’m just more particular about the quality and quantity of people that I want (some would say need) in my life.
Most of my closest relationships are with people who live far away – it isn’t always that way, I have some here in Phoenix, but not the majority. Technology allows me to talk with them or listen to them when they or I need it.. I’d be lost in the old west or something.. WiFi or die… I can go months/years without seeing or interacting with some of them… but the bond is still as strong and I still love them.
Anyway… this is a long post that I’ve been thinking on recently. I’m not a socializer nor a fan of fellowship really. Kind of nice not to have to pretend.