Lately I've found it hard to relax around certain in-person friends of mine.
Like seeks like, and I'm often drawn to intense people, so I have to tell myself: you can relax. You can often be intense but you don't HAVE to be. I sort of told myself this one particular time. I'm trying to remind, really remind, myself. And to be fair, I should also say this:
If you feel guarded around me, if you have trouble relaxing around me, tell me.
I know I can rub people the wrong way. I know I can confuse people. I've dealt with that. I've experienced life as me for long enough to know that I don't always handle that well. And I'm not as perverse as Andy Kaufman was where he, at some level, enjoyed causing that, enjoyed rubbing people the wrong way in the name of performance art, enjoyed being confusing.
To speak very generally, I want people to feel better (unless they're assholes who are mean to others, in which case, I'll, um, at least glare at them (cf. the many bad drivers I saw this week)). So I try to be there for people. This has sometimes worked: a friend who's known to have panic attacks has said he feels more relaxed around me, and that gave me a warm fuzzy feeling. But if the people I'm around feel spun up and unhappy, I'm likely to pick up on that and myself get spun up and unhappy. And I'm more likely to feel spun up and unhappy if I feel I'm contributing to that.
Let me know if I'm contributing to that. I'll do what I can to stop.