STAR!!! I have so much I want to say. This felt different, tone-wise, from other writes, and I was not expecting it to be inspired by that, but that was neat :)
Reading "ugly" in this context was so gut-wrenching, especially on its own line there. Usually, when I think of the word "ugly", I hear it most used as a physical descriptor, toward something specific or someone's attitude even. The first time I read this through, I thought you were referring to HIS world as ugly, but on another read, I see it as someone who feels they will "ruin" someone's time by being themselves, even if they are not feeling their brightest or happiest. When I'm feeling low or stuck, part of me feels like it's too hard to explain, that it would be brushed over, and maybe a small part of me subconsciously keeps myself from venturing out and exploring new places/people when I'm not feeling it because that's like forcing a situation. And if I'm not naturally feeling like I want to be with someone, or somewhere, I'd rather not lie or be disingenuous. I'm kind of more of the person who will be honest if I'm not feeling something, because I've faked things for long enough, I want to be in the mood for something and choose it not out of others persuading me or desperation or something. But then there's the other aspect of people believing that you should push yourself, in order to deal with anxiety head-on etc. Like exposure therapy. Going out in new situations little by little to get yourself used to coping with things that can be unpredictable. It's difficult to explain how scary that is even if some days I want that, that ease of conversation and just going with the flow, yet most of the time, I want the routine, even if it numbs me. Nothing can harm me in it usually.
So many parts of this I thought were quite interesting. Saying how he molded himself, because I can't quite tell the tone of that, I just take it as someone who has tried to improve and maybe be a version of himself that is what's expected by other people. And maybe, on the surface, he appears confident and assured, but he's still dealing with the deeper layers of whatever he's struggling with. Some people don't, or can't, look past surface level with people. Others, I believe have more of an "insight" into how a person comes across, what is sincere and real and what is perhaps more crafted out of feeling like it's necessary.
But yeah, circling back to how I felt writing my piece, it's like there's so many parts of me fighting over one another. It's tricky, and your ending line brought so much depth. It's all too easy to feel like we may be dragging others down, burdening them, just like it's easy (but not really) to stick with a safe zone, that even if we know we're isolating more and more and it will only be harder in the future, it's hard to just "step out of". Much like depression, and others wanting the best for us, and us wanting to feel the genuine emotions last, but not wanting to force them and feel worse because of it.
This means a lot to read, and as always, I adore your writes!