To those who are reading this, forgive me, but I’m going to make a sweeping generalisation and assume, due to the fact that you are reading an obscure blog about TV reviews on the internet, that you are somewhat anti-social. Anti-social, shy, introverted, awkward, whatever you want to call it I hope that you understand what I go through when I try to interact with the rest of the human race.
Here is an example, the other day when I was at work, the guys I work with were telling jokes, I laughed with them and we all had a good time, right up until it became apparent that it was my turn to tell one. I won’t repeat it here, because, and this may come as a surprise, it was awful. But tell it I did, and I got all of two words in when my voice rose up two octaves, my hands became as clammy as a joggers underwear and I was able to stand as well as a tramp on meth’s. All of this because 3 guys, who I have worked with 5 days a week for 9 months, put the spotlight on me for 2 minutes and asked me to share a joke with them. It all went well by the way, they laughed, and I quit the situation as soon as possible to head back to my work area to shovel some more s**t away from prying eyes.
This is the reason I’m anti-social, because when presented with a situation, such as having to tell a joke, have a haircut, or, heaven forbid, talk to a stranger, my wit, charisma and ability to form a coherent sentence f**k off. Leaving me the rambling, nervous, clammy guy in the corner of a party who ends up turning potential compliments towards strangers into what looks like veiled aspersions about their drinking habits, sense of style or weight.
So I end up trying to avoid these situations all together, I refuse party invitations, I avoid going to places that are unfamiliar and I try to avoid spending prolonged periods of time in the company of strangers. But, weirdly enough, it turns out that if you avoid parties, avoid awkward small talk with acquaintances, and only see the people on your, short, contact list. People, ordinary well-adjusted people, will stop inviting you to parties, they will assume that you think you are too good to make small talk with them, and every so often your dwindling number of friends will be too busy to meet up with you, and then, BAM!
You realise you’re going to need to put on some trousers, comb your hair, and have a shave, because dude, you need to go out and meet people!
This happened to me when I moved to a new city, I woke up one day and realised I couldn’t call up those 5 trusted friends to go out and have a beer with, so, I resolved to make some friends. And do you know what, its hard, extroverts may not understand this, but it is really, really hard.
Firstly because you have to meet new people, secondly you must realise that you can talk coherently in front of anyone, because if you can do it with a close friend, you can do it with a stranger. Third, because you have to realise that good friendships take time, a long time, and most importantly that they need nurturing.
Which means, sucking it up and saying hello to people you often bump into on your daily routine, making small talk with strangers, telling jokes with workmates, and ultimately remembering that instead of avoiding awkward situations, you need to cultivate them to reap the rewards.