How to avoid making friends and alienate yourself 

Great news, guys, I just started training at a new CrossFit Box. Woah, wait, hold on a minute. Don’t freak out just because I mentioned CrossFit. In fact, let’s take a moment to get a few things straight before we keep going with this great story about my social shortcomings.

Hello, my name is Phoebe and I go to CrossFit. I’m not an elite athlete, in fact, I’m not even a mediocre one. I’m awkward, with gangly arms and legs. I’m also ass-heavy, like one of those blow-up bop-bag things you knock over and it just keeps bouncing back up because all its weight is on its butt. I go to CrossFit so I can drink a large soy cappuccino every day and eat a whole pizza once a week and not feel guilty about it. I’m not brainwashed, I’m not going to the CrossFit Games and I’m not on a Paleo diet, but I do think Rich Froning is a dreamboat. Mmmm Froning. Alright, moving on.

As you would’ve noticed, I referred to my new CrossFit location as a ‘box’. Instead of calling it a gym, they call it a box. I have no idea why they call it a box, but it’s an endless source of jokes for the non-CrossFit serious, like me. I’m talking classic, timeless, witty humour like, “Hey, want to see my new box?” and “Oh man, my new box has so much room. Do you know how many people I can fit in there?” and “You should see the SIZE of my box. Seriously, it’s huge.” Brilliant, right?

Moving to a new box, while providing me with a great new comedy routine, is really kinda terrifying. Why? Because I’m a socially inept introvert on an inevitable and very slippery slope to agoraphobia. Woah mama, the sweet bliss of agoraphobia. Take me, I’m yours! Since I started working from home full-time I don’t even have to deal with the horror of seeing co-workers every day. I sit at home alone, happily typing away, listening to music. When Matt walks through the front door in the evening I’m like a startled possum, cowering in the corner, terrified of human presence.

Honey, I'm hoooome!

Honey, I’m hoooome!

Like I said, socially inept. If I had a reality TV show it would be the most boring piece of crap, it would just be footage of me sitting in silence for 8 hours a day praying my mobile phone doesn’t ring. But that’s the way I like it. Peaceful, quiet, free from the mundane, forced chitter-chatter.

One of the most interesting things to happen to me at my new home office has been the attempted self-harm of my fish, Nibbles. The idiot decided to launch himself out of his lovely little bowl, straight onto the floor. By the time I found him he was dried out and covered in hair. I plucked him off the floor, picked the hairs off him and threw him back in the bowl. Much to everyone’s surprise, he still lives. Go Nibbles, go!

Despite my introversion, I was raised by parents who taught me it’s important to be friendly and polite, so I always say hello and chat to people when I’m in new situations. Starting at the new CrossFit Box is a daunting prospect for me as it means talking to a LOT of new people. Not only that, but it’s a totally new environment and the place is HUGE, yep, my box is HUGE.

We do workouts right in the middle of the place, so there are people working out around you as well as those working out with you. There are people shimmying up ropes, popping out handstand walks and squatting 100kg like it’s nothing. I, meanwhile, am in the corner trying to make my pre-workout stretch routine look convincing. ‘Mmm yes, this leg stretch is quite advanced, I saw footage of Katy Perry doing it before a show once. If it’s good enough for Katy Perry, it’s good enough for me.’

This is the stuff of introvert nightmares. It’s definitely not as bad as having to give a speech in front of a large group of people, but it’s still up there, possibly in the same region as your boss pointing you out as the ‘new person on board’ on your first day at a new job. The horror.

I know people who love this stuff, they’d be genuinely thrilled at the prospect of making new friends, meeting all these new people and hearing their stories. Some of them may even end up going out for a drink and becoming life-long buds. Not me, nah-uh. It was a 27 year struggle just to get to the point of having six very good friends. Six in 27 years, that’s an average of one new friend every 4.5 years. Seeing as I met the last one, Ellie, in May last year, I’m really not due for another one until November 2017. In fact, you could say that I’m right on schedule, keeping up with KPIs and all that. If I were to make a new friend ahead of schedule I’d throw the whole system out of whack, it’d be like birds not making it to the special island where they lay their eggs or… something… very similar.

Okay, so what the heck does all this mean exactly? For you, probably nothing. For me, it means a few very awkward months of mishearing people over loud music, bumping into things and taking an extreme and sudden interest in the floor whenever someone comes near me. But it’s all worth it guys because I get to eat all the pizza I like and make all the smutty double entendres I can think of, particularly ones about how accessible and user-friendly my box is.

Watch our How I pack for a trip video!


Phoebe Lee - Little Grey BoxPhoebe Lee is a travel writer and award-winning blogger with a love for storytelling. Phoebe creates practical, fun and engaging written content designed to inspire and energise travel-lovers and dreamers. Follow her and Matt’s adventures at home and around the world, right here on Little Grey Box and through InstagramFacebook and YouTube.

 

what is CrossFit? Why do they call it a CrossFit box? Am I an introvert? Am I an extrovert? What is an Introvert? Crossfit / How does Crossfit work / Brisbane blog / Brisbane Crossfit Blogger / CrossFit experience / What is an Extrovert? Starting at a new gym / how to make friends 

11 Comments on How to avoid making friends and alienate yourself 

  1. Hey Pheobe. I stumbled onto this post and liked it enough to for this. I’m new to this whole blogging thing. I have been holding onto a couple posts of my own -unpublishing them- because I want to get it right. I want to get it right because I am at a time in my life where I too consider myself an introvert, similar but different then you seem to be from this tiny little blurb. Blogging seems confusing to me. I’m not sure why people do it. But I will be because I think it’s the only thing I have left to express myself. I guess I kinda just wanted to get your opinion on the world of blogging or your world of blogging or whatever you feel like regurgitating. I will leave it there until -and if – you respond. I will then divulge mpre if you want. Take care. Vinni.

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    • Hi Vinni, I love to write so blogging is the perfect outlet for me, I think it’s great! It’s fantastic because anyone can start a blog and use it to get their creativity/voice out there in the world, even introverts like you and I. I’m happy you liked this blog post 🙂 have a great day Vinni – Phoebe

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  2. I miss you Pheobs!! I may have to admit, you were like a security blanket to me on those WODS that only the grown ups could do… However, I’ve had to be a big girl, talk to others and even the boys (they out number us on most occasions). It’s a whole new world in ther 😉 xx

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  3. Oh my, I love this post. I’m a hard core introvert myself and can so relate. I know nothing about CrossFit but damn you are brave putting yourself there knowing how it’s going to be!

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  4. Thanks for the laugh! I joined a CrossFit Box for 3 months about 2 years ago. It took me about that long to figure out what the heck was going on (trained to improve my half marathon time….I didn’t but I’m sure it’s not my boxes fault). I, too, was most definitely shy during those days but my arms? They were cut! 🙂

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  5. Oh Phoebe, I laughed my head off reading this because I can definitely relate to the startled possum wanting to avoid all human contact!

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  6. Great piece ! I didn’t think you were an introvert at all ! You shine through your blog. I think we should create a little club of introverts with our own rules 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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