I’m sorry you’ve encountered such rude people.
As for the woman who made the rude “sugar daddy” comment, it’s she that should be embarrassed for putting her foot directly in her mouth, not you!
I’m also sorry to hear that your social anxiety has been limiting so much of what you want to do. Just remember, you are not your career. Don’t try to base self-worth on a career, that’s a bad idea for anyone. Know who you are… what you stand for… what makes the way you think unique and important… what your ethics are. These are what make you an important human being and I’m betting that they are the reason your boyfriend is in love with you.
It’s probably not always the case, but I’ve noticed that the flip-side to more sensitive people is that they tend to be a lot more in touch with their humanity/the bigger picture/creativity.
I’ve heard of outgoing people being called “sunflowers” and very sensitive people being called “orchids”. I think it fits. Orchids are superbly beautiful but they do take extra care.
Now I’m somewhat in the middle… but I’m slightly introverted too, and I used to be more sensitive to rude people when I was younger. I think of myself as an orchid that has developed a nice, sturdy, woodsy stem. I’m a mutant orchid, basically. lol!
I recommend it! Becoming a “woodsy orchid,” I mean. I have a lot of fun the way I am, which is not like a “sunflower,” but able to stare down any “sunflower” who tries to tromple on any of my delicate petals. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with extroverted people in general, but I can’t stand bullies and I will put them in their place! Some people automatically look for the sensitive people to pick on, by the way, they’re natural bullies. That’s why the girl at work picked on you in particular, not because there’s something wrong with you, it’s because she saw your delicate orchid blooms and wanted to damage them. This is HER flaw, NOT yours! She is a damaged sunflower and she really wants to damage other people in return. She’s choosing orchids on purpose because they are easier to harm due to their delicate beauty.
I wish I could summarize how I got here (woodsy orchid) in a simple way that could easily be transferred as useful information to you. I would say it was mainly two things: Courage and age. As I got older I began to care less and less what people thought of me. Maybe because I understood better how little they “got” me or the world so how much their opinions were just random and not important. But courage was also a big factor. There’s learning and practice involved. You can’t get these by sitting on your couch feeling the pain of shame well up because that idiot woman made such a silly comment. You can only get these by going to another party, and hoping for another opportunity for someone to bring up “what you do,” and this time, trying to see if you can hold your gaze more firmly, your back more upright, your smile more bold, when you answer. You may or may not do better next time, it’s a path with random hills and valleys, and that can be a bit confusing. But the overall direction is upward. The more you face the thing you fear the most the more you master it… you’ll notice the pattern after months or years of effort. Actually, with consistent practice (doing one thing that scares you every day, doesn’t matter what it is or if it would scare anyone else you know), in a year’s time you will be freaking AMAZED at the difference.
I’ve had people come up to me who knew me when I was younger and marvel at my “confidence.” It isn’t exactly “confidence”… I always knew deep down I was a beautiful and special flower in my own way… it’s more like “social immunity.” Every little disapproving glance or voice tone or whatever, those things that used to bruise my petals? Now they hit lightly against my woodsy stem and I am barely aware of them. And “sunflowers” think I have become more like them….but my very important secret is that I haven’t, at all. My delicate petals are as delicate and gorgeously orchid-y as ever, it’s just that anyone who hits up against my stem never gets to look up (get to know me in a deeper way) and see all the unique beauty flowering at the top.
I hope this didn’t come across as longwinded bizarre flower prattle to you. I have a feeling that as more of a fellow sensitive type, you’re more likely to get what I’m saying. I hope you do and I hope this helps.
If the above was TL;DR?
My love and support go out to you. You are not alone. You are not broken. And this state you’re in right now is not permanent.