I’m anti-social. Really, I am. It took college and a job that required me to stand in front of people and socialize to get over that. As a kid, my dad loved invading my personal space. He figured if he pressed my buttons, he’d teach me how to get over my issues. If anything, it made me shut down more. As a result, and this is a serious issue in living in the South, I hate familiarity by strangers. For the most part, I was brought up within the European confines of mannerisms. You get introduced to people before you use their first name, and only when they give you permission to use their first name. You shake their hand when meeting them, you don’t hug them. It’s been a hard thing to get over, but I still have my moments, especially when surrounded by nothing bug strangers.
To combine with this, I also had to deal with 2 alcoholics in the immediate family. Which meant they were all about invading personal space, regardless whether I was trying to walk away, or not. This is why I tend to be more reserved and anti-social at events where lots of drinking is involved. So far, I’m learning, there’s a definite line that can’t be crossed. In the event of things most recent, the prime example would be the “rednecks” that almost everyone ran into. I was staying away from them, as they were beyond stumbling drunk, and then combine that with the Southern lack of personal space and you have a problem waiting to explode for me. It’s also the issue that came up earlier in the fest, as I wasn’t able to read a friend quite that well and reacted in adverse. My history with my Unkle and Grandpa showed me that you cannot reason with people at that level. And my reactions tend to be act first, ask later response, which is bad when I don’t read the person properly (in the case of my friend). I cannot change how I feel in these situations yet, however, I can change how I react in these situations.
My main thing, is to control where people are within my circle, hence why some people are held a little further out than others. I very much go on people’s energy and how it meshes with me. If there’s a funky vibe I’m getting, I’ll observe more, or I’ll ask questions. Which is why some of you new folks get emails with tons of questions from me. If I’m confused, I ask. No sense in making assumptions, when a simple answer will suffice.