1. You eat to fill the silence. When you’re at a party, you migrate to the snack table. When you have chips in your mouth, no one questions why you aren’t talking. They just assume you’re starving.
2. You prep beforehand. If you have to make a phone call or approach a store counter, you’ll rehearse what you have to say before you actually say it. You’ll repeat the words over and over in your head until you have them memorized. Until you’re ready to take on your role as ‘functional human being.’
3. You act like you’re busy. When you’re sitting in class or are riding on a bus, you either shove your face in a book or pop your headphones in. That way, no one will talk to you. That way, you can remain alone.
4. You tone down your emotions. Before you start a new job or go on a first date, you casually text your friends to mention how nervous you are. You try to make it seem like you’re an average person that’s slightly shaken with nerves. You don’t let anyone know how hard your heart is beating and how badly you’ve been shaking.