As long as I can remember, I’ve had this nagging fear of being around people. I stuttered as a kid (a friend told me last week I still do), and I always thought I was letting someone down, although I wasn’t sure just who. I tried to mask my fear. Years ago I drank alcohol in excess to feel comfortable. That was a big mistake.
Then there was a period of time that I worked extra hard at having everyone like me. I thought the fear might go away. It didn’t, and I’m certain not everyone liked me. A few people told me so.
This is one great thing about getting older. I don’t have that nagging, vague fear near as much. I’ve learned to stick around folks I enjoy and excuse myself from those who make me feel uncomfortable.
One more thing. I know a few people really, really love me. Ahh, that feels stupendous.