I am unbearably uncomfortable in social situations. The art of conversation doesn’t just elude me, it has moved to another neighborhood.
I remember wanting to get better at it in college. Brad was really good at conversations – he could actually talk to people for long periods of time. He said it was all about the questions – ask people questions. I tried, but I could only come up with one question and no follow up, then it was awkward silence.
Now, I just want the silence, preferably without the people. It sounds awful, but I’m so scatterbrained that sometimes it’s very difficult to hang in there with the current conversations I do have.
‘Teacher’ situations are different – I know how to be ‘on’ and animated and such, but the in-depth part is not really there. Inside, I’m longing for my quiet house.
Phone conversations are troublesome, too, mostly because of the ending. I never know how or when to make it end. Do I stop when I’m tired of talking or keep talking and worry that I’m wearing out the other person’s attention? With Lloyd and Brad I usually just say, “I’m done talking”, and my parents are pretty good about saying, “That’s all from this end”, and I’ve learned that it’s rude to say, “I really have to pee now”, even if it’s true.
There’s probably a self-help group for this, but it probably involves conversation.