I get nervous about the most ridiculous things. Sometimes it’s stress and sometimes it’s anxiety, but a lot of the time it’s just nerves. Usually about nothing of any importance, yet drives me insane nonetheless. Here are some examples of (ridiculous) things that have made me nervous lately, honestly probably all of them in the last two weeks:
- Going to an event where there will be a lot of people there. I hate this scenario, usually because my nerves cause me to either be completely mute or to talk way too much to anybody and everybody that will listen. My mom has told me this for years, but when I am nervous I will tell a stranger the deepest truths of my life that they really didn’t want to hear about. And these are usually things that I won’t even talk to my friends and family about. Cool.
- I could be wearing a turtleneck, and if I’m going somewhere with people I’m not close with, I get nervous that I’m dressed too provocatively. It happens every single time. Then I change my outfit a million times and get all disheveled and show up late and sweaty.
- Almost every single time I leave an interaction with a friend (could literally be my best friend in the world), I get nervous that I said something stupid and messed up our entire friendship and that they never want to see me again.
- Throwing up.
- That someone is going to try to talk to me while I am working out at the gym, or really someone approaching me anywhere out in public.
- My cats getting too sad and dying when I leave them for a weekend.
- Having to make phone calls for doctors appointments, insurance stuff, etc.
See? Crazy. Most of them should be non-existent, yet they all bring me more stress than you would be led to believe. I fake it scarily well. And reading that list, they’re really silly things to make me nervous, but I just can’t help it.
I am reading Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project right now (I read it years ago, but figured I could use a refresher), and in May’s chapter she talks about the importance of understanding that what is fun for everybody else may not be fun for you, and that is okay. This really resonated with me for quite a few reasons. Most prominently being that I have tried for so many years to like events with a lot of people and to dress to please others and to fake a smile to the stranger at the gym just because I feel like I should. And you know what I’m realizing? I don’t have to.
In her book Gretchen talks about how she likes to read children’s books – for herself. Not for her children. And how she has spent so much time trying to like different types of literature and history and politics and blah blah blah and she just doesn’t. That’s how I feel about social events. I have tried to like dinner parties and weddings and everything in between, but I just can’t. They bring me so much anxiety, from the moment I know about them and until I am in the car on the way home. I’m not as naive as to think that I will never have to go to these things again in my life, but I really want to try to remind myself that it’s okay to not love them! It’s okay to be nervous and tell my boyfriend over and over that I don’t want to go. Because I know he’ll get me a glass of champagne and hold my hand the whole time we’re there and it will really be fine. But I don’t have to fake it anymore or go out of my way to make these kind of plans when I never wanted to in the first place.
Another thing that is making me really nervous lately is disappointing someone I love and getting my way or the opposite of that, pleasing someone I love while compromising myself. In other words, I mean telling someone how I really feel about something and disappointing them but being happy, or keeping it hidden how I feel and hurting myself. Sometimes it seems like there is no happy medium. I want to gain a better balance of being honest about my feelings, yet understanding that I cannot control other people, and sometimes I am just going to have to be okay with not feeling 100% about a choice someone else makes. This probably sounds insane to those of you who don’t struggle with this, but for the other worriers out there, I hope this makes some sort of sense to you.
So I suppose what I am trying to say overall is that I am a very nervous person, but I hide it very well. Are any of you like this, too? I’ve managed to control it pretty well in recent years, but there are still totally days where all I can fathom doing is laying on the couch and watching Netflix to try and forget about whatever I am freaking out about. I am super lucky to have Chris in my life who tries his hardest to understand these quirks and help me deal with them.
Probably the best way for me to calm down about these kinds of things is to be distracted. I know some people have to just deal with the issue, but if I can help myself to forget about it for like a minute, most times I end up forgetting about it entirely (or at least for a while). And then when the thing that is making me nervous does pop back into my head, it’s typically not as strong as it was before. Working out has also always been helpful, but yoga has been huge for me in the last couple of months. Wine helps a lot, too 😉
If you have any tips on how you get over nerves, I would love to hear them!