Please Like Me (But Stay Away)

This short essay details Mindy’s struggles with social anxiety. She includes incidents about please like mehow she does not like being too ethnic and about her fear of standing out. She also discusses the difficulties she had making friends in LA. The culmination of the essays a comparison between her fortieth birthday party and B.J. Novak’s fortieth birthday party.

I noticed . . .

I noticed how normal she seems as an introvert. I thought about how often I feel the same way. Just as I started thinking that she and I could be best friends, Mindy mentions how, when people tell her that, it freaks her out! LOL

I also noticed that she was able to appreciate her differences with her extroverted best friend, B.J. She didn’t seem jealous or resentful about their differences either. This makes her a better person than I am for sure.

I also noticed that she’d rather be alone than have fake friends. That’s a recent development in my life. I’ve often confused being surrounded by acquaintances as having friends, only to realize that they were fake friends. I’m learning to value being alone over fake friends.

I wondered . . .

I wondered how Mindy’s social anxiety affected her career. I also wondered how, as a television star, she recharges after a big social event.

I also wondered if she’s tried to find mom-friends since becoming a mother. I wondered if it was easier for her to make mom-friends than it had been for her to make friends before she became a mom.

It reminded me of . . .

I was reminded of Anne Bogel’s Reading People. She talks extensively about personality, and devotes a whole chapter to the introvert/extrovert divide. This book how much insight that gave me into other people’s personalities, and I learned how inborn personalities are.  I thought that this was good for understanding the differences between B.J. and Mindy’s personalities.

I also thought of Sophie Kinsella’s Finding Audrey. In this book, Audrey is a teenager suffering from severe anxiety disorder. It’s so severe that Audrey even struggles to leave the house. I’m glad that neither my nor Mindy’s anxiety is so strong, but it’s a reminder of how serious anxiety disorder can get.

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