Social Situations

I’ve never been much for meeting new people, or starting up conversations. I do pretty well once I know people, but somehow I never picked up the whole social skills thing. I do better than some folks I know, but I watch some people, and they just know how to start conversations with strangers, they remember people’s names, and they sort of just do it without thinking about it.

I went to a wedding today, first real social event I’ve been to since being on my own. I managed to get there late, but it was at a park, outside, and blending in wan’t difficult. The bride and I have mutual clients and have worked on a few projects together, which is why I was invited.

I wasn’t sure what to wear to an outdoor wedding in 90° heat, so I bought white shorts for the occasion, and it appears I did ok. I got there, found the bride, congratulated her, and wandered around. I didn’t know anyone there, and most people appeared to be couples. It was awkward, at least for me, and brought up a bunch of memories of the mild suffering that I go through and how, somehow my ex would come rescue me, introduce me to someone, or just stand next to me and keep me company. So after a few minutes, I decided that I really had other things to do, and that I had done what was important, and been there to congratulate her on her marriage, and I left.

I wasn’t happy leaving, I thought I might have some fun, even if I didn’t know anyone, but much like walking out on an observation deck 50 stories up, when you’re afraid of heights, it’s not nearly as much fun when you’re there. Had I stayed, it’s likely that someone would have started a conversation with me. One of those people that come up and comfortably say, “sure is hot… ” or “did you try the cookies, they’re really good…” or whatever people say that get things started.

I wasn’t happy because I went with the idea of staying for a while and making something of it. To actually just force myself to suffer through until either things started wrapping up, or it started being fun. I failed.

So how do you conquer a completely unreasonable fear? How do you find a way to be ok with something that you’ve never been ok with in your life? It’s a stupid fear, no one is going to shoot me for saying hi, or asking if they’d ever been here before… or whatever. Where’s the scary part? I don’t even know.

I can overcome my fear of heights, I climb radio towers, work on rooftops, and while it’s uncomfortable, I can do it. I’ve given presentations to rooms full of people, and it nerves me out, I can do it. How do you get over something like saying “hi” to someone?

sigh… I’m guessing a quick google search would be less time consuming, and more productive.

Sailing tomorrow. Luckily it’s my boat, so I can keep there from being a crowd. 😐

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