I don’t like big groups. I’m not the kind of person who will fight to speak in a roomful of people. I will blend into the background instead. I will stay silent. I will make myself invisible to keep my stress levels low. No one will realize I’m around, because I make a point to shrink myself into nonexistence.
I don’t like loud noises. I avoid bars where the DJ blasts music so loud that it is impossible to hear the person sitting next to you. I avoid parties where the only activity is shouting along to the music and making out with strangers on stairwells. I would rather be inside my own home, locked between four walls of peace and quiet, than out in a crowd of chaos.
I don’t like to be touched. I avoid going in for handshakes and hugs to keep my personal bubble intact. Even when I’m flirting, I will hesitate to touch someone’s hair or rest a hand on their thigh, because I know how much I hate it when my own space is invaded. I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable — including myself.
I don’t like surprises. Spontaneity is a turn-off. I want to know what I am getting myself into before jumping headfirst into a situation. I want a set plan. I want a to-do list. I want predictability. I want to stay inside of my comfort zone, because inching outside of it never ends well for my sanity.
I don’t like pretending. When I’m in a sour mood, the last thing I want to do is plaster on a fake smile and hang out with ‘friends’ while claiming I’m completely fine. I am uncomfortable wearing a mask. I would rather be true to myself. I would rather soak in my emotions than wring them out to ignore.
I don’t like young people. I have always felt disconnected from people my own age. I have always felt like an outsider inside of groups where I should feel the most at home. I am an old soul. I am years beyond my age. I am too different to be grouped along with the decade who graduated alongside me.
I don’t like people. I like animals. I like books. I like sleeping in on Sundays. But I don’t care much for other people. I would rather spend my time alone. I would rather isolate myself. I would rather complain about being lonely, about wanting a real flesh-and-blood relationship, than go out and change my reality. I would rather keep things the same.
I don’t like socializing. I never know what to say. I always feel awkward. The words never leave my lips right. The more I try to fit in with others, the more I feel like an imposter, like someone who belongs on the outside but hasn’t accepted it yet. Like someone who is trying with all their might, but is never going to get it right.
I don’t like dating. Because it reminds me of how much I hate being me.