I am incredibly socially awkward *if* I am do not take a moment before entering a space and, I suppose, reset myself. I have to remind myself of who I am when I'm alone and carry that person into the space with me.
You see, it's like this. I read a book once that made this so abundantly clear. The main character was a hermit, not because she was terribly shy or feared people or had had a traumatic experience, but because as soon as she walked into a social situation, she lost all sense of herself, and this other being, this unwelcome persona, would bubble up and say something so terribly *not her* that she felt misrepresented by her own body, her own mind.
I read that and I was like, yesssss. That's it exactly. I, too, seem to step back and out of my body and watch, with mild horror, as all these so-not-Amy words come out of my mouth. And I'm yelling at myself to *shut up* already. Just take a moment of silence. Recollect the sweet soul you came in with, and pull that on over this weirdo squatting in your social self. For god's sake, just BE that.
But it's like a runaway train, right? And it's not like you can stop it by grabbing onto the rails and dragging your heels, a la cartoon superheroes. Even with people whom I consider family, this persona emerges. Well, you know, I'm tired. And if I have to take a vow of silence for a week and write everything down in order to reclaim that moment of collection, that moment before? Well, I'll tie a notebook around my neck, find my favorite pen, and starve that persona through silence.