Ever walk into a room and found you have nothing to say? That everyone else seems to know each other and feel comfortable with each other and you aren’t part of the inside joke?
I’ve always been an awkward person around others. Once I get to know people I do well one on one. Even in a small group. But I feel weird just hanging with a lot of people. Especially people I know.
I have no fear of speaking in public about something specific, especially when I don’t know them. I actually do it well, if people have been telling the truth. It’s the non-directed, large social encounters that make me clam up and act all weird and awkward. I see people at a party talking in small groups, laughing and chatting away, and I can’t seem to fit into any of it. I have no skills chatting people up or interjecting witty comments that make sense.
I like to stay silent in a room full of people to get a feel for the situation. But when the time comes to actually interact I feel like I say stupid things. It’s been a problem of mine as long as I can remember. Everyone else seems so much more sophisticated and social savvy. They can talk up a storm and never make a fool of themselves.
I think that’s why I really love to write. I can think about what I’m going to say and even reread what I wrote, and then edit it, to make sure it sounds good before anyone sees it. I can make my point without all the awkward feelings of bumbling over my tongue to say what I mean.
Most would think an adult wouldn’t have such anxiety about just talking to people. Sometimes I really feel like I’m the only one who can’t seem to get this whole social conversation thing right. And the confusing thing is that I can talk to people I don’t know but I freeze when talking to people I do. Which is really odd in my mind. I would think that the fear of talking to strangers would be greater than those who know me. But it isn’t. And I have spent a lifetime trying to figure out how to have those social conversations without sounding like an idiot.
I think that’s why I like the interactions that social media offers. It gives me a chance to be a part of the world in a way I wish I could in person. Without all the awkwardness that I feel opening my mouth in person.
I guess I’ll never be normal that way. I’ve been told I’m not normal anyway. So I’ll take what I can get. A community online where I can say what I mean and do it in a way that I don’t feel weird and abnormal.
Thanks for listening.