I had a dream last night. In it, I was with some high school chums that were important people to me back then. I haven’t seen them in years. I woke up wishing I had kept in touch with them.
In high school and college, it was easy to have friends. They were right there every day. After college it was a different story. I met people on the job, but that is not the same as school buddies. After college as a young man, I was lonely most of the time. I had few close friends. I chose a perfect job for isolation: a computer programmer. No one cared if I had any people skills as long as I could crank out the programs on schedule. People even expected programmers to be loners.
Show me a person with anxiety and I will show you a person who is lonely and isolated. That doesn’t mean they don’t have friends. It means they don’t connect with people in ways that feel good and fill their need for human attachment.
When anyone tells me that they get nervous around other people (Social Anxiety), I know that they don’t connect with people well. All the deep breathing in the world is not going to help them until they start taking the risk of connecting.
I know this because I grew up as an intensely shy and introverted person. I had to learn to connect.
Reach out and touch someone today. Call a friend or family member. Tell them you were thinking about them and ask how things are going. If you haven’t done this for awhile, expect some discomfort. Ask yourself, “do I want to be comfortable or do I want to grow?”