I have been able to accept a lot of the challenges life has given me. But one of the toughest has been trying to adapt and improve my social skills.
When I was in elementary and middle school, I was hilarious. And by hilarious I mean, my peers loved to laugh at me. I never understood why my being so shy and different was funny to them. If I saw them behave this way to someone else (which they didn’t) I wouldn’t have found it funny at all.
When I got into high school, I discovered drama and theater which improved my social skills significantly. It was a very welcoming atmosphere, and I felt comfortable finally finding my rhythm. When I got to college, I continued with theater believing I was going to make a life out of it. But this was a very different atmosphere. People were extremely vindictive, even dealing with a bizarre bullying situation from a faculty member, which I may get into later. Suddenly I was not in an inclusive environment. This had become as toxic as I was when I was back in middle school, if not worse.
Since then, I have found than when it comes to most atmospheres (employers, friend-bases, colleagues, etc.) there will be a pretty good 50/50 mix of those who will continue to be supportive of my social issues, and those who will continually try to throw me under the bus for no reason. Either way, I approach everything with a sense of caution. I realize that this is going to be the norm from here on out, and I’m ready for that.
In the end, I can’t force people to accept me or not. But I can learn to accept myself in this regard, and although I’m not at senior year of high school levels, I’m hoping that awareness, confidence, and positiveness will get me close to those levels again.