A social challenge has to be two things: social (done in front of other people) and challenging for you. If you always sing karaoke, then singing tonight is not a challenge, although it is social. If I sing karaoke, I'm probably drunk, and therefore it's not a challenge. But if I sing karaoke while sober, that's a challenge.
A challenge I am not about to undertake.
But there are other challenges I can, and probably should, undertake. While social challenges can be a way for some people to push themselves a little, I'm introverted enough for it to be a real issue. I have no problem spending time by myself. I feel zero desire to get out of the house and go somewhere else. The thing I want most to do in the whole world is stay home.
When I go out, I am going against my deepest desires. If I make plans with you, I will spend some time thinking of ways to get out of going. It has nothing to do with you. I probably really want to do whatever it is we made plans to do. It makes no sense.
It doesn't even have to be plans I've made with others; I do the same thing when I've made plans with myself. For instance: I plan to run tomorrow. All night I'll be fishing around for reasons I should not run tomorrow. And I like running!
This issue is only compounded by the fact that I like to make plans. I know that doesn't make any sense. I like people. I want to have people in my life. I like to do things. I will commit to anything interesting. I also want to stay home. It's a problem!
If I indulge those "stay home" feelings for too long, I end up nervous about going out in public, especially into new situations. I am reluctant to go places alone. I try to get out of social situations. I won't join new groups. For a few years now, I've been working on getting myself to try new restaurants, because I always want to go places I've been before. And going out to eat is something I do with other people!
So I have to force myself to get out, try new things, do things alone. And I hope to pack a lot of those things into this week. And I hope it doesn't kill me. If it kills me, I'm never going anywhere again, not alone, anyhow.
Anyhow, I haven't set the things I'm doing for exact days, but my list includes going to the Art Museum by myself, which I've never done, and going on a group run Wednesday morning. I might go to a new restaurant by myself for lunch one day. I am thinking about hiking a new-to-me trail, even though I inherited my mom's lousy sense of direction (thanks, Mom!).
I didn't do anything all that challenging today. But I did run all my errands after work, which I think is a first. And I forced myself to use the coupons I had, instead of taking them home again like I usually do. I don't think it counts as a social challenge because it only involved one other person (maybe two, if you count the customer behind me). For reasons I can't quite figure out, I am embarrassed to use coupons. I should be embarrassed to pay more than I have to, but I'm not. I guess I'd pay to not have to use a coupon. Which is stupid.
So, in a small victory, I saved $8 at Petsmart, with coupons. Tomorrow I'll really challenge myself.
What do you find socially challenging? Karaoke? Saying hello to everyone you see in a day? Dining out alone? Trying to make true eye contact with strangers? Share what you find challenging and maybe myself, or someone else, will add it to their list.
PS - This is week 12! After this week, we will have gone through the 6 categories twice! And I'm thinking about changing up the blog a little bit; more on that later this week.