Perfect in my Mind

Perfect in my Mind

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Devastatingly Socially Awkward.

I'm not going to dance around the subject:  I'm a fairly socially awkward person. 

In the past, I've heard people say this . . . and then laugh really hard.  I always think to myself, "Why are you laughing?  That's not even funny.  It's kind of tragic, when you really think about it."  But, then I realize that the person who said that they are socially awkward isn't even socially awkward.  They're just trying to make a joke, or something.

You guys, I'm not one of those people trying to be funny right now.  This is serious stuff.

When I meet new people, I freak out a little.  I have to do some deep breathing, and maybe even close my eyes for a second.  It just really stresses me out for some reason.  This week I had to meet a considerable amount of "new" people.

When I am in a crowd of people I don't know very well, I usually just stand around them, analyzing their conversations.  But, when I hear them talk about something I am familiar with, I get really excited.  Like, unusually excited.  And, in that moment, I feel like I am going to physically explode if I don't tell them absolutely everything I know about what they are talking about.  This particular time, the people around me were talking about spray tans.

I know you guys are saying to yourself, "Spray tans?  But Chelsea . . . you are so pale.  How would you know anything about spray tans?"  Well, I did have a brief stint in the pageant circuit, if you will remember.  (Actually, I am way offended that you didn't remember.)

The conversation went a little something like this:
Person 1:  I don't like tanning, but I wish I was more tan.  I have been thinking about getting a spray tan.
Person 2:  I love getting spray tans.  The best thing to do before you get a spray tan is to exfoliate yourself really well.  Be sure to get around your elbows and in between your fingers. 
Person 1:  Oh yeah?  And how do you make your tan last longer?
Chelsea:   Oh!  I've gotten a spray tan before!
Person 1:  Oh, cool.  Did you like it?
Chelsea:  Well . . . I don't know . . . It was kind of an awkward situation.
Person 1:  Huh.  How so?
Chelsea:  You do know that you are going to be . . . uh . . . not wearing any clothes, right?
Person 1:  I thought you were allowed to wear some clothes . . .
Chelsea:   Not with the girl I went to.  She didn't want me to wear clothes.  I was really nervous about it, because no one had seen me naked since I was a baby, and I didn't want a complete stranger to be the first.  But, the lady told me it would be fine.  So, I went in to the room where she tans people, dropped my towel, and the lady just started spraying me with this tanning water gun looking thing. 
Person 1:  Uh.  Okay . . .
Chelsea:  Yeah, and I just stood there.  Clothless. 
Person 1:  Hmmm.
Chelsea:  And I was like, lady?  Is this even weird for you?  And the lady was like, "No." "It's just like painting a wall."  And then I got all offended.  Like, okay.  So, you're the first person to ever see me naked, and I'm just like a wall to you?
Person 1:  Huh.  Well, I think I would just not get undressed all the way.

(Insert awkward conversation pause.)

Chelsea:  Yeah.  I guess that would be good.

You see where I'm going with this?  Word vomit.  At it's finest. 

Well, I've recently started evaluating my socially awkwardness . . . and, I've come up with a list of things  that are socially awkward that everyone does.  And by everyone, I totally just mean me.
  • Go in for a hug . . . but your arms are in the exact same place as the other person.
    • Side note: I totally feel like there should be a "hugging etiquette" handbook outlining the appropriate length of a hug, when it is and is not acceptable to hug a person, etc.  I goof this one up all the time.
  • Your waitress brings you your food, and asks you how everything is tasting.  You respond, "It's good.  How is yours?" 
  • You arrive really early for an event.  Once you get there, you decide to wait in your car until the event has already started.  This way you can be "fashionably late." 
  • Once you say "goodbye" to someone, you start walking out to leave.  Then you realize that person parked right next to you.  They are walking behind you the entire time.
  • Every time you send a text, you go back and obsessively read it until the recipient responds.
As much as I want to elaborate on this subject some more, I think you get the point.

What about you guys?  Do you do any of these things, or am I a freak of nature?


Sue said...

I remember a "shy" phase I went through in 6th grade when I went to 3 different schools in one year but beyond that I've always had to be the chatty outgoing one. I think it comes from being the oldest of 6 children! I still feel a little anxiety when I know I'm going to be thrown into a new social situation and I don't know how to deal with it but at this point in my life I've gotten pretty good at faking it. I word vomit all the time and then I just keep on going!

Anonymous said...

I seriously laughed out loud reading this post.

The whole arriving early for an event and then sitting in the car has been way too many times by this girl.

And saying goodbye only to have them walking behind you is definitely an awkward moment. Lol.

Keri said...

I do all of those things. And add to it my biggest one: As soon as I get home from a social function of some sort, I start analyzing everything I said or did while there...trying to figure out if I annoyed or offended anyone. Seriously?! What is that?? I have two new mottos in my life: #1 Assume good will. #2 Do not ruminate. And you know, I have noticed a difference in how awkward I feel when I choose to assume everyone has good will and when I refuse to go home and ruminate...or run it over and over in my mind.

Thanks for sharing this! Even though you weren't trying to be word things so cute I couldn't help but giggle because I can relate!

Arielle-HumblePieVintage said...

haha I think those people you were talking to were just boring. I would've talked fine with you! I always do that to waitresses. They say "Enjoy your meal" and I say "Thanks, you too". Crap.
I'm bad about when their is awkwardness in the air or silence, I have to make jokes(which are always too harsh or weird for the pple I'm with) therefore making it awkward.
Or even better, I'll actually say "Wow, this got awkward" making it even more awkward.
We're losers, girl.

^(See, should I have not called you "girl" since I don't know you?!)

Evan Becky said...

I'm awkward to the point that I'm great upon first meeting someone, or being in a crowd of new people. I was in the drama honor society in college and I can just kind of turn the actor on and do great upon the first meeting.

Then people get to know me. And I have the constant feeling that the more someone is around me, the less they like me. So I just curl up into my little shell and back off. Usually it's the other way around.

Nicole Stickler said...

This post made me laugh (not at you, but with you!) because I am socially awkward too! I think its just in my mind and no one else really notices it though. I feel like before I go somewhere when I know I will be in a group setting I tell myself before hand "Just be be quiet and listen to everyone else" and then I get in their and don't shut up and I KNOW I say things I shouldn't sometimes or things that are awkward or no one cares, then afterwards I spend the next two days over analyzing everything I said in that moment. *sigh* being socially awkward is stressful. Btw, I'm totally with you on the awkward hug thing!

Brooklyn McKenna said...

I always re-read my texts! Then I sit and stir over how the other person could be interpreting it. It's ridiculous!

hopelds said...

You are not a freak - I did many of the same things until I finally learned that whoever the OTHER person was, THEY were just as if not MORE nervous than me.

I love the quote, "If you stumble, make it part of the dance." There is no need to apologize or feel you have not contributed anything to an odd coversation - just try to feel as comfortable as you can and move on.

(BTW I simply love your blog!)

Annette said...

You are such an incredible writer! Thanks for sharing your life in the blog. I'd say 90% of people perceive themselves to be awkward in social situations, at least SOME of the time!!

Deveny said...

hahahaha, these are awesome. I'd be surprised to find anyone that isn't the littlest bit uncomfortable in a crowd of new peeps.
She didn't laugh at your tan story? I'd be dying... Maybe the people you were talking to were the awkward ones? :)

Courtney B said...

Ha ha... YOU are adorable! And I've never ever thought you are awkward! In fact, you are one of the SWEETEST girls I know!
I on the other hand, can be extremely awkward. I can't think of anything specific right now.... but just know that its true!

Deveny said...

And I've totally said to a TSA agent after he told me to have a good flight, "You too!"....... *face palm*

Emma Frances said...

Haha. You are super cool. I love this story. Hilarious. That would be a super awkward situation...the whole spray tan thing. I have never experienced anything like that and I think I'll be trying to avoid that at all costs now! And that hug thing I do EVERY time with my father-in-law! So awkward! Maybe someday we'll figure it out! I've done the waitress thing--and I've done it at the movies when I get popcorn or something and they say "Enjoy your movie." So I respond "You too!" Basically I've done everything on your list. We can be socially awkward friends together!