254. Arrhythmia

Social anxiety sometimes rears its ugly face even in moments when you are supposed to let go.  One situation that triggers me a lot is with music. You see folks, I was born with no rhythm.  Granted; that's not uncommon, but I was also born Latino. A Latino who can't dance is in the "Latino who doesn't like soccer" levels of social ostracizing. Which reminds me, I don't like soccer either. 

People tried. So many patient girls tried to get me to step in beat with the songs. It didn't take. I may be able to keep a beat for a bar or two but my mind wanders and dislodges from any semblance of order.

This is a post about social anxiety, not my lack of rhythm, though, so I wanted to talk about a strategy I learned over the years.

I talked about booze and drugs in the previous post , but here's my next strategy; a healthy one that will not cut your life short: controlled embarrassment. It's like microdosing social anxiety, inoculating your system a little at a time. Examples of ways I've done this are: dancing to my own (slightly off beat) drummer, saying awkward things for humor, walking stupid looking chihuahuas and just generally causing a social reaction but one you know to expect. Thankfully, my partner participates and endorses this way of life. 

It's made my life better, more adventurous and allowed me to escape from the trappings of being an anxious boy. 

These last two comics, they're like an exaggeration of what being anxious looks like, but this one in particular... has happened! Once upon a time I was a fresh immigrant in this country. I never had danced to hip-hop music. I took a young lady out and went dancing... I did my best, but a guy pulled me aside and said "nah, you making this dance floor worse." At the time, I was hurt, but now, I know he was the weirdo. Who thinks of themselves as gatekeepers about how people should dance? Weirdos do. 

I didn't get a second date. 


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