A word from the quiet guy in the corner

I don’t like Christmas.

Well, that’s not entirely true. There are bits of it I enjoy…mostly the eating parts and the buying presents parts. I like buying people presents, thinking of something unusual to match their personality. I dislike wrapping them because I genuinely suck at it (ask my wife), but that’s another story. The tree looks nice, and I like all the lights.

But this is what Christmas is mostly about for me: People get friendly. People get sociable. People want to hug. Which is fine…but I don’t. Raised voices and laughter make my anxiety spike all year round, and there’s ten times more of it at Christmas. There’s ten times more of everything that makes me anxious at Christmas. Lots of people shopping and the endless crowds make it spike even more. I usually have a little patience for queues, but the pushing and pulling of Christmas erodes it even more.

The enforced jollity of it all makes me nervous. I really…really…do not like social gatherings at any time of year, and Christmas is everything magnified. There’s a staff party at school on the last day of term. I work with these people all year round, but I’m not going. I’m not going, and I’m still anxious about it, and it’s four days away. My wife thinks I’m being miserable and grumpy about it. I hated going to my own family parties, when such things existed. Parties aren’t somewhere I go to relax after a day at work.

Grumpy is my default behaviour when I’m in a social situation that’s making me anxious. I get grumpy a lot this time of year, as you can imagine.

The triggers for Christmas make a lot of it anxiety by association for me: Christmas songs and brass bands playing, it all adds up by association. Ugh. Make it all stop and go away!

Please, don’t invite me to anything. Just leave me alone. It’s nothing personal. If you need me, I’ll be in a puddle in the corner, exhausted and stressed.

I don’t hate you, or really hate Christmas. It’s just who I am.

2 thoughts on “A word from the quiet guy in the corner”

  1. It’s so refreshing to see someone being honest about Christmas! Yes, it’s a time to be merry, but I feel like a lot of us don’t stop to consider that, for a lot of people, it’s not the most wonderful time of the year. Many actually have negative connotations with it, it may be a painful reminder of family lost or feeling lonely because your on the outs with family, or possibly don’t even have any. For many, it’s also a time of serious stress and responsibility getting everything ready! More now than ever, it’s can also be a financial burden that leads people to feel miserable. I think it’s most important to take away that Christmas is a time for looking after each other, oh, and food. 😉

    1. Thank you for understanding!

      People always say, “But it’s Christmas!” like that’s a magic answer to my anxiety. It doesn’t know what time of year it is, folks. 🙂

      And, oh yeah…the food. The food is the best bit!

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