I am 37, male, from England. I work and live abroad. I'm in my 4th year of teaching English to non-native speakers.
I have always been a bit of a quiet person, but up until the age of 18 I was quite extrovert and okay in groups. I say quite extrovert because I always felt I lacked complete self-confidence and so that prevented me from being a total extrovert.
I went to college and I felt out of my depth. I had some very negative experiences with people, which meant I'd withdraw from social interaction more and more. I was not part of the in crowd and so I used to get alot of snide, nasty remarks. This caused me to feel extremely self-conscious and uncomfortable in the company of others. I felt really low. I used to feel a sense of panic around people, I felt I was losing it.
After a few years of perseverance, I managed to overcome much of my self-consciousness, but I never feel comfortable or happy with people. I only genuinely feel contentment on my own. I have friends around the world that I keep in contact with. However, in real life when I speak I deliberately keep it brief.
It's natural to sometimes want human contact and I find that by using forums such as these. I am an independent person with some integrity.
In my work life, I've experienced some major problems. I am always civil but because I don't play the game, kiss up to people, or join various groups I tend to come across hostility, all of it indirect i.e. through glares, bad mouthing, some ridicule etc.
I just want to be myself, it's sad in my view so many people pretend to be what they are not all of their lives, just to have an easy life.
I always tend to find places at work where I can be alone. In some ways I have become a misanthrope (someone who really dislikes people and society). I care about people, but I meet so many that are nasty.
I don't claim to be perfect, but at least I'm aware of my faults. I am quite well spoken, fairly well-educated and always polite. I find that irritates people.
The good thing is I don't feel needy, if people are unkind to me I just blank them, forever!
I got married a few years ago, we got divorced after a year. That was because we met abroad and my wife used to miss her family. We also just didn't get along.
Reading my story, one could think the problem must be me. If your definition of being a problem is to have self-respect and try not to hurt anybody, then I suppose I am guilty of that.
I find conversation in person, especially at work, to be so repetitive, tedious and a bit fake. I also don't enjoy conversations just for the sake of it. I tend to dislike extrovert people, I find them annoying.
Lastly, as a child my mother was very kind. Therefore, I don't feel the need to be nasty. But I can be, if necessary.