Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Beginnings 3

Physically, I'm tall and slightly overweight. To be honest, I've not really been motivated to take that good care of my appearance. I'm by no means unattractive; most women wouldn't be repulsed at the thought of making love to me. But, I'm also not the kind of man women are going to make an effort to get to know. If I were wealthy and/or charming I would have no trouble maintaining a social life. Being neither, I'm the kind of grey man no one gives much thought to.

I tend to be clumsy and accident prone, I'm no good at sports whatsoever. Mentally, I'm also error prone, but I'm also excellent at finding those errors. In school I was incapable of writing a program that worked the first time. But, in four years of computer science classes I only had to ask for help from my professor twice; one of those times it was the compiler's fault. Ironically, since I always double check my work, I've often been accused of thinking I don't make mistakes.

Despite my tendency to make mistakes, I'm highly intelligent. I've been trained in problem solving both while getting my math degree and because of my interest in puzzle solving. While a gift, my intelligence in a lot of ways is a key source of my problems. People respect someone who is physically superior to them; they tend to resent those they consider intellectually superior. Over the years, I've found it best to downplay my intelligence in order to get along.

But, more to the point, I'm pathologically shy; I'm scared to death of meeting and talking to new people. Unfortunately, my intelligence allows me to over-compensate for that. Once actually engaged in conversation I come off as composed and self-assured; I've even been complemented on more than one occasion on my excellent people skills. But that's purely during non-social interactions. At a party, for instance, I'm useless. Since people don't really perceive me as shy, they don't reach out to me the way they would someone they felt needed help.

And, my shyness, which is mixed in with my desire not to be rejected by people, goes a bit beyond the norm. I'm scared to death of talking to people on the phone; sometimes I've had to psych myself up for hours beforehand. I'm afraid to go into new stores and restaurants. I'm even border-line agoraphobic. In general, I often go to ludicrous lengths to avoid dealing with people.

Even online, I'm generally scared to death to get involved. I haven't even tried chatting and refuse to have an active instant message ID. I'm way outside my comfort zone doing a blog; hopefully that will change if I can keep this going.

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