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What made me stop behaving strangely in society?

In the past, without being aware of it, I would behave eccentrically. I used to act in a less eccentric way in the company of family members and people I knew well. I would behave normally only with people I was in close relationships with. As for the others, I would behave reasonably, only when I got used to them because then I would gain self-confidence. I now understand better why I was laughed at and abused in the army and elsewhere by the very same people who knew me only superficially.

It took me many years to realize the following: Precisely because I saw myself as an eccentric person, I would act eccentrically! For example, I would ask questions out of place in an honest and innocent effort to be original, tell bad jokes to stand out, see others in a distorted way, and make fun of myself while trying to emulate them.

Needless to say, after every such failure of mine, I would say to myself: "Yossi, do not do this anymore!" - And so, I would enter a vicious circle of shyness and insecurity.

I would think all the others are "friends", and I'm not a friend of anyone! Without seeing at all the frictions and hatred that sometimes exist between two people. When I would describe to a third party how I see this "friendly" relationship between the two people, they would say of me and rightly so: "How naive, you are!".

Nor would I defend myself, when it would have been certainly legitimate for me to do so - again out of the delusional thought "that if he mistreats me, then he is probably right!". On the other hand, out of the hallucinatory thought - that everybody are friends amongst themselves, but I am different - I would not sympathetically receive a warm and sympathetic treatment from another person. When I would encounter such an attitude, I would respond to him aggressively and then really make him an enemy. By the way, a vicious circle reinforced the feeling that everyone hated me.

And today, how do I see the things I mentioned above? Since I have gained self-confidence, I no longer try to "be original by force": I speak in a simple way, like everyone else. And only when I think of something that seems original to me do I say it, and often others like it. In the same way, I no longer tell things to try to be funny (then it would probably come out as a bad joke), but when I think while talking about something that really makes me funny, I do not avoid saying it, and sometimes I am told I have a sense of humor.

I am also not ashamed to reject politely but firmly attempts by others to make fun of me. And I notice that even if I do not acquire their affection (even though it does happen!), then at least they treat me with respect. On the other hand, I do connect with people I like, notice when I am really treated positively, and respond with the same attitude.

Today, when I am in strangers' company since I have remained the same person, I do have all kinds of nonsense and patterns of behavior: I know what I would say in this situation, but I just refrain from doing so. I only speak when I really have something to say and when I think it will interest everyone. On the other hand, I am less shy and silent due to shyness in cases where the situation demands that I speak.

In the post "How to live a change in habits that have been forced on us?", I said how difficult it is for people to get used to a change that is seemingly detrimental. As you can see, accepting change for the better is not a trivial matter either.

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