I did not have many friends growing up. I often felt awkward in social situations. I realized early on that there were all kind of social behaviors that were appropriate and often expected that I just did not understand.

People were not happy but they always said they were fine. They never explained what was actually going on with them, they just pretended everything was fine. I thought it was odd. But then they wanted me to also say I was fine when I was not. And I did not say I was fine so I was labelled dramatic. Apparently I did not say the right thing.

I remember one day a girlfriend yelling at me on the phone because she had broken off with her boyfriend of 3 years and I never called her or emailed her to see how she was doing. Apparently, she had been crying for days. I wondered why that since she had spent a good year telling me how disappointed she was in him. I thought it was a good thing she had broken up with him. Apparently, I was not supposed to say so or act like everything was fine.

All of this social rituals exhausted me and never worked for me. I think I do the minimum. I smile when people smile even though I know they don’t want to smile and I have learned to keep a straight face when people talk about their misery.

And I have found people who are like me as well. We will stay next to each other without saying a word sometimes and feel like we have had the best time. Or we say things like “I was devastated but I am over it now” and actualy mean it.

It’s easier now that I can guess what people expect of me. Of course, as rebellious as me, you never know what you will get …..