I’ve always considered myself to be rather extroverted. Until I suffered a bit of a nervous breakdown in my early twenties and married an overly-critical man, I didn’t realize my self-consciousness.
I find it rather odd and crippling too because people who have known me a long while expect me to be the “talker” while I feel more like being the listener. I am very uncomfortable with silence. I feel very nervous in small settings (2 person dyads) where I feel I’m expected to keep conversation going. If there is a lull I seek to fill it. This puts enormous pressure on me.
In my teens and early twenties in retrospect it seemed like I always spoke to people about “guys” and at that stage that seemed appropriate. I feel self-conscious about talking about personal things and thinking that people can’t talk about relationships all the time. Small talk always alludes me when I’m nervous.
On the other hand when I tell people I’m close to that I feel awkward at parties and such, they can’t believe it because I seem so bold at times. I can speak up in class and when I have something planned to say I can say it with confidence.
It is a bit of a roller coaster ride and I’d like some balance.
Does anyone have any suggestions?