Thursday, June 24, 2010

Social Interactions Make Me Feel Oooky Inside

but not always.
if anything i've been the sort of kid who is good at talking and yammering away.
but when you see someone who
1. you haven't seen in awhile, and
2. you only ever sort of knew them and
3. you have nothing to talk about with them and
4.they're standing in line for coffee and you're coming back from the bathroom
5. you're dressed exceptionally silly today and they may or may not think it's cool but it's always hard to know for sure because you never really knew them very well

now, as a kid i could just walk by this person and not say hi to them or say hi to them and the full implications of my whim wouldn't really be considered by them because, hell, i'm just a kid.
but now that I'm supposed to be some asshole grown-up, social choices matter a lot more.

i feel like i never knew anything about social anxiety until this past year.
before that i was just always weird so i could do whatever i liked and people generally thought i was okay.
now its like omgholyshit it really does matter what i say.

and i've noticed that grown ups suck at talking often too. i never noticed that before - there were just some people i liked talking to and others that i didn't, and i would just not talk to the people i didn't like talking to. now i get stuck talking to people all the time, and notice that they aren't very good at it and i'm far too a-d-d for this convo.

such as, like, i was at a bridal shower recently and this lady sat next to me. she was about my mom's age. we start talking to each other, getting to small talk first base, and i ask her how she knows blah-blah-blah, and she says "oh, i'm blah-blah-blahs mother." and i'm like, "whoooa, really?" because this lady looked way too young to be blah-blah-blah's mom. then she's all like:

"oh wait, no i'm sorry. i'm blah-blah-blah's sister. i mean, wait, no, i'm blah-blah-blah's friend." in reaction to her, i presume my face looked kinda judg-ey at this point, because she looked a bit pained. she sighed then explained "i mean, we're just so close that sometimes i think of us as sisters."

"yeah right" i thought to myself. "you just got all tongue-tango-tied ms. lady. and that's kind of fact, i guess i prefer it to you having a really normal conversation with me. because if it was normal then i wouldn't have this cool story for my blog."

moving right along, though.
if you manage to snag a human into conversation with you, it presents different problems. i think we need more effective ways to get out of conversation.

1. there's the classy "i'm a cold-hearted british person" method of just nodding and saying "excuse me", which is a way of saying "i have to go investigate the impropriety of my daughter's actions who i haven't seen since she last eloped with some ruffian-hooligan half-assed Jane Austen pseudo-villain."

2. that seems like a pretty cool thing to do.

3a. but the problem with that is you really have to have an urgent thing to go do.
3b.what if you just want to not talk to this person anymore simply because you ran out of material, not because you hate them? nor because you have anything better to do?
you could just say something like "oh, i'm going to go mingle with other people." which at least is straight-forward, but what if you run into each other again? then it's like "oh hi, here i am still mingling with you. i thought i was going to go be somebody. instead i suck and went nowhere. sigh."

4. then there's the classic "drag other people into the conversation technique."

PERSON 1 (getting sick of the convo at this point because they have nothing interesting to say): oh yes, haha, (cough cough) that is very interesting indeed.
PERSON 2(also really have nothing else to say): yes, i think so as well. hmm...lalala.
PERSON 1: yup.
PERSON 2: haha
PERSON 1: ohhh, person 3! we were just talking about something that would interest you!
PERSON 3: ohhhhhh...were you? (??)
PERSON 1: yes, we were talking about how interesting muskrat feces are.
person 1 & 2 now have a new companion to ease the strain of the conversation ending, hopefully adding interesting material, and maybe giving 1 or 2 a chance to slip away.

i personally use this technique frequently and am a real fan. mostly because people don't catch on to what you're doing (which is playing real person checkers, in which you get to be a king and hop over people) and just think you're trying to help them get to know people.

5. then there's always the old "omg i need to get another drink/bathroom/cellphone/scratch my head/change my contacts/wrap a present/lock my keys in my car/find my purse/open a box/close a box/change a lightbulb/buy a new toothbrush/feed a fish"
which then gives you an opportunity to slip away - act like you're embarking on a task - but really strike up conversation with someone more interesting, or at least give you alone time.
it's similar to the self-important british elopement method, except you have no mystery and generally sound retarded.

6. of course you could always just walk away.

7. or be unpleasant.

those are really all the ideas i have.

No comments: