How Do You People?
It’s no secret at this point that I am a miserable failure when it comes to interacting with other people. I’m never quite comfortable, always wondering if I’m talking too much or not enough and if my voice in inflecting the emotion or mood I want to convey and that I don’t sound like I’d rather be gargling sand and glass instead of interacting with someone.
People are kind of a mystery to me, really. I don’t know when they’re joking (for the most part) and I don’t know when I’m being ignored or when a text is going unanswered because someone is busy, they legit forgot about the text even being there, or the network is running slow and they haven’t gotten the text yet. I don’t know how to navigate most social situations and I tend to take control, often times seeming as if I’m grudgingly doing it, when I actually don’t need to be taking control at all. I flounder and stutter when talking to people I don’t know and, often times, all those big vocabulary words I know and use every day just sort of go out the window until I’m trying to remember what the unicorn of the ocean is called (it’s a narwhal, by the way).
I always tend to jump to the worst case scenario. I can never find a happy medium or not worry about stuff. I automatically construct at least 5 worst case scenarios, each one ending in someone hating me or ignoring me. Every time. It’s like I’m preprogrammed to think that the social apocalypse will begin with me or something. I didn’t used to be like this, you know. I used to be a social butterfly. No, I wasn’t always a ray of sunshine, but I was happy most of the time and it was common to see me loudly joking with people and doing awkward and stupid dances for, like, no reason.
Now, if I tend to do any of that because I’m having a good day, I’m looked at like I’m acting wildly out of character because people just don’t expect me to break out a drunken rendition of the dance from the live version of Vanilla.
I’m not exactly sure what happened to me, either. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment in life where all of that self confidence and happiness was smashed to smithereens.
I cover most of it up with false bravado and a fake inflated ego. Mostly, though, I cover it up with scathing sarcasm.
I’m pretty good with kids, though. Kids are easy. They’re pretty genuine and generally don’t have ulterior motives other than obtaining sweets and staying up past their bedtime. They speak their mind because they haven’t developed a brain-to-mouth filter yet, and they’re up front about things. Sometimes what they say seems hateful to adults because they don’t sugar coat things or know that what they said will hurt someone’s feelings, but that’s what makes them pretty awesome. They see the world and they call the world like they see it.
I like that.
It’s like, I don’t know how to operate in the world anymore because it seems like everyone around is either lying or they’re using the people they know to get ahead in life. Maybe I’m too genuine? Maybe I’m too damn nice and have too big a heart? I don’t know. I just know that I’m awkward around people, kids are actually pretty awesome, and you can’t cheer someone up when you have poison on your tongue.