Do you genuinely connect with others?

Anxiety has been a constant undercurrent my whole life and I’ve always found social interaction exhausting. It really doesn’t matter how many people I’m around; I’m most likely going to be the queen of awkwardness. I’m a bit of a loner but I’m okay with that. 

However, sometimes I crave deeper, meaningful conversations, but my husband is the only person I feel really comfortable talking to. Sometimes my blog satisfies my craving, but it’s different to connect with someone face-to-face.

I really don’t know if it’s just my personality or if my mental illness is to blame for the way I feel about interacting with others. I don’t think the way I feel is wrong, I just think life would be a little easier and more enjoyable if I was able to really connect with others.

I’m sure I’ve said it here before, but I have the best job in the world. I facilitate art and writing groups for people in recovery from mental illness and/or addiction. Last week I had a group where only one person was able to attend, but that’s okay. It doesn’t matter if it’s one person or twenty, I love making art and I’m going to proceed with our projects.

The one person who came is a participant who comes to almost every group. They have a very positive attitude and a gift of being uplifting and encouraging to others. It was a writing group, but we wrote very little. We just sat and talked and it was the best conversation I’ve had in a very long time. It was just them and me and I was able to really let my guard down. 

It felt very special and meaningful to me. I wish I could connect with others like that on a more regular basis. 

Can anyone relate? Are you a loner or a people person? Do you genuinely connect with others or does anxiety get in the way? Do you have your guard up? Have often are you able to have meaningful conversations with the people in your life? Do you crave it?



    I am a bit messed up on this score. I was an Air Force Brat, went to five different elementary schools. I learned that any friends will be left behind and you’ll never see them again. I also learned to come into a new situation and make new friends. Now, late in life, I think I am heavily introverted, but overlain with what I learned very early on coping with strangers. Enter husband of 50 years, and 50 years of good conversation. And I find regular friend groups – scrabble, poker, garden club – with people who like to talk. Add in the weekly movie, where we watch a movie on zoom with another couple elsewhere in the country, and have good conversation about the movie afterwards. Yes, I crave good conversation, and work to find it.

  2. Katydid says

    Navy brat here, but I have a couple of lifelong friends from military brat days in addition to the friends I made along the way. I also have a few longterm friends from college and adulthood for several decades. But I’m also comfortable on my own. During the pandemic, I managed the final decline and death of both parents–both died with dementia plus a whole host of physical problems, which made even sweeter my time on my own without having to navigate irrational and enraged needy people–e.g. “I hate you! You suck! Now change my diaper!”

    People can be great or people can be horrible. You had a horrible coworker, but you also have good coworkers. I think on the job, I’m more subdued until I figure out which are which.

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