I don’t do well with people, as a rule. I don’t have social anxiety, per se, but my tolerance for pettiness and ego approaches zero pretty damn quickly, especially when there is no talent to back it up.
Cliques are the worst of it. In theater, publishing, gaming, and reenacting, cliques are the engines that drive the world. Fannish cliques are perhaps the most galling, cliques of misfits which say “We all like each other because we don’t fit in, but you don’t fit in in entirely the wrong way.”
Good thing I have my wife, my cat, my son and three and a half jobs.
The truly annoying thing is that all the interactions follow the same blueprint and I keep going through it over and over a gain in hopes that something will change. Here’s the step by step:
1: Friendly overture towards group.
2: Snub, snipe, or incompetent behavior that has to be ascribed to malevolence because “really, how could these people actually be this dumb and run a ()?”
3: I, feeling miffed, point out they are acting in a cliquish/moronic fashion.
4: The group’s representative responds with outrage and sincere hurt that I should think so little of them and their inclusiveness.
5: I apologize for my boorish behavior and promise to make an effort to fit in and be all friendly-like in the future.
6: Second friendly overture.
7: Continued snubbing and incompetence, just to prove I wasn’t hallucinating things the first time.
8: I take up heavy drinking.
I could give you some examples of this, but even with changing names to protect the guilty, it would get back to them. That would be me returning to Step 3, and you see how far that got me on the flow chart.