Friday, July 10, 2009

I wonder...

After all the serious/emotional things I've been posting lately, I'm just in the mood for a little frivolity. I posted something about this on facebook, but I really started thinking about it, and I think it deserves a little discussion.

Here's the question: do socially awkward people realize that they're socially awkward?

Think about it. We all think we're fairly sociable people, capable of carrying on conversation with most of society. And yet we all know people whose remarks we sometimes wish we could rewind. People who always seem to say the perfectly wrong thing at the perfectly wrong time. Something doesn't add up.

In my family, it's very clear that there's a gene floating around on some stretch of DNA that sporadically makes its way into certain chromosomes. It's the "people person" gene. Some sort of conversational blessing God gives out when He's feeling particularly generous. My dad has it. My brother has it. My Aunt Brigitte has it. They can keep a conversation flowing with anyone. They can tell funny stories. They make friends easily.

And I'm jealous. Because I definitely do not have it. It's becoming more obvious as I get older and spend more time in the professional world. I often find myself in the midst of awkward silences. Or I say something I think is funny and hear crickets chirping in response. Or I end up keeping someone on the phone way too long because I just can't shut up (Faith, I feel like I do this to you a lot).

Yet I still wouldn't consider myself a completely socially awkward person. But am I? How do you know?? Am I the girl who laughs too loud at my professor's jokes in class? Or the girl who tries way too hard to insert herself into someone else's conversation? Or, worst of all, the girl who does those things thinking I'm acting in a perfectly acceptable manner?

I'll probably never know. No one (other than my brother, and I've learned to ignore whatever he says) would dare tell me if I was. But that's okay. Micah loves me anyway. My parents love me anyway. And I'm discovering how to have an adult conversation. That's a start.

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