Social Anxiety and Starbucks

I’ve done yoga for 21 days out of this month and I’m proud of myself for doing something physical consistently.

Click below if you want to read my long-ass blog post about what I did today and what I think about Starbucks.

Te Minimum

Before I could even process waking up, I put on my yoga clothes so that yoga becomes the first thing I want to do for the rest of the day.

I had a Restorative Yoga class which is the adult version of nap time. I know that it doesn’t really count as a workout, but I love it because it’s very soothing to go to a class with the goal of emptying your mind and finding relaxation. In addition, I did my squats and planks. I was able to hold my plank for 15 more seconds and in class, I was able to hold my downward dog considerably longer than I usually do.

On the Ti/Te front, I read about Jurisprudence and a chapter which is based on Pharmacy 1. The Juris chapter was complete bullshit. It briefly discussed the law, then would tell you to read more about it in another website. It will be one of those chapters I’ll have to go back to when I finish reading the book. The Intro to Pharmacy was a very light read. If I pushed today, I could have finished another chapter. Alas, the night is young, maybe I can squeeze another one in.

On the social media front, I was very happy to call one of my good friends in Philippines. Just talking about stupid things is a true stress reliever. Minimal chats througout the day. I didn’t even go through every one’s snapchat (yet).

I was able to read more of “Socrates to Sartre”. It’s a book to I need to digest and I didn’t read far. In order to read at the top speed I usually do, I need to be able to read at least 3 chapters of Pharmacy. Goddamn. Just gotta keep hustlin’

I had two moments where I had to talk to strangers in which build up a lot of inner anxiety. While grocery shopping ,the cashier who was very charming, chatted me up about protein bars, yoga and fitness. All I could think about was that I needed more coffee for this amount of socialization in the morning. He was one of those people who excelled at small talk and could take the social cues that I needed coffee; he was even able to suggest coffee and snacks for my next shopping trip. The Fe be strong in that man.

The next time was in yoga. So the day before I was saying, “Yeah I’ll probably not meet friends in yoga.” And then boom, an extravert wanted to be friends. Irony hits you when you’re convinced that you know what’s going to happen. She came up to me and asked if I’ve taken Restorative Yoga and I sadly kept forgetting her name. Huhu, awkward me can you please take the back seat when I’m meeting people, thank you.

Insights

Many friends think that I’m ‘naturally’ charming but they don’t realize that that charm is a front to prevent awkward situations from happening. Awkward situations produce anxiety for me because I cannot predict what will happen.

Did I say something offensive? Did I make the right first impression? What if I make this person angry/annoyed? How do I get out of this situation? What if they like me and I see them again?

I’m older and I know that most of these thoughts are completely irrelevant but the instinctual anxiety naturally builds when people approach me. In a way, I must have a loading period in order to be my ‘naturally’ charming self.


“The Ego, however, is not who you really are. The ego is your self-image; it is your social mask; it is the role you are playing. Your social mask thrives on approval. It wants control, and it is sustained by power, because it lives in fear.”

~ Deepak Chopra

This quote got me thinking… during my first few years of undergrad I was in Super Ego mode. Without knowing it, I had a pretentious air about myself because I didn’t like things just because everyone else was doing it.

It is a paradox to go against the crowd. Many people go against the crowd because they don’t want to be controlled by what they deem as the norm. However by going against the crowd, in many ways we are controlled even more so than the crowd itself because we have dismissed ideas, products and opinions that we did not dissect with our own beliefs and feelings.

I’m going to state an example in my life. Most people in NCR like Starbucks (this is a sweeping generalization). Because most people like Starbucks, there are also a substantial amount of people who dislike/hate Starbucks. I used to be in both camps. Freshman year, I would order Starbucks every week. Then 4th year came and I became a snob and stopped drinking it because a lot of people did. It finally hit me that boycotting Starbucks because everyone else likes it is such a weak reason to hate/dislike something. In order to dislike something, I need substance. I dislike Starbucks because their Fraps are weak; they’re expensive (as compared to local coffee shops). Flavor profile wise, I love Coffee Bean better, but it doesn’t mean I hate Starbucks. I love their availability, and when I order a straight up Americano/Cafe Latte, I will get a stronger/bolder cup which is what I need. Do you see how solid my opinion about it is compared to before?

I don’t want to play the role based on social approval (following the crowd because I want to keep up with the Joneses or going against the grain because I want to be anti-establishment). I don’t want to be pushed and pulled by trends and anti-trends. There are parts of popular and unpopular culture that I want to explore. I want to establish solid opinions based on what I truly think and feel.

Well, honestly I spent almost an hour on this post. Before I go deep Ni, I’ll sign off to be more productive.

Till tomorrow!

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