I often find myself wondering: is there some other version of me, amid the countless alternative universes, who is able to interact with others in a functional way. And if so, what are the differences that allow them to do that? Are there things I could learn, so that I too can deal with people without behaving like a pathetic weirdo?
It feels like a disposition I was born with. So maybe all the versions that share my dna are isolated losers. But perhaps some had some life experience that jolted them out of that. I don’t know what that would be. What would it take for me to not experience most social interactions as a source of shame?
The thing is, I rarely know how I actually come across to others. I just know it’s not how I want to be – confident and at ease with myself. Being around people is a constant source of confusion and panic for me, so I’m never at ease. I’m always subconsciously afraid that someone will say or do something that will reinforce my own low opinion of myself. And then I will have no way to hide from my own worthlessness. I’m terrified of seeing myself reflected back in the perceptions of others, stripped of all my pretensions. I suppose that’s a form of narcissism.