Socialization is one of those “benchmarks” that appears on the list of “normal” behaviors. It even has its own timeline; one “should” be doing “X” by “Y” age. All of these socialization milestones involve interaction, and most of them involve communication.
That’s where the situation gets dicey.
Interaction and communication are bidirectional. I make up half of the picture, and another person makes up another half. Another person, who has their own thoughts, feelings, viewpoints, dispositions, characteristics, personality traits, tendencies, and so on.
It’s a wild card.
Interaction and communication induce anxiety for two reasons: 1) I can’t “make” the other person interpret my messages accurately, and 2) one can never please everyone. The second one has been at the core of many a painful experience.
I’ve always (felt that) I have to work extra hard to appear likable.
It’s not that I’m mean or antisocial (literal use of the…
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