I’ve always been a shy person. I’ve come a long way in recent years, but as a child and teenager, I was extremely shy.
Getting into journalism and having to talk to people brought me out of my shell in some ways, as well as meeting my husband and making new friends and family. But I find now, I’m more socially awkward than anything.
I’m not socially awkward when interviewing people, because I’m in control of the conversation and it’s pretty much planned out – I know what I want to ask and what information I’m looking for.
It’s the conversations with acquaintances and especially neighbours that make me want to crawl into a hole and hide until my sheer embarrassment goes away.
I’m guilty of avoiding my neighbours at all costs. If I pull into my driveway and they are outside, I pretend I’m busy on my phone or something until they go inside and I can make a run for the door.
The other day, I was walking to the mailbox and wasn’t paying attention to my surroundings, flipping through the wedding thank you cards I was about to pop in the mail, when all of a sudden I looked up to see one of my neighbours standing right in front of me. It scared the crap out of me and I quickly managed to spit out a hello and carry on my journey to the mailbox, trying to convince myself it was a normal human interaction.
I am also guilty of avoiding former co-workers or people from school when I see them at a shopping mall or grocery store, because it’s been a few years since I’ve seen them and I’m just too uncomfortable and awkward to ask what they’ve been up to.
My husband is the same way and we are constantly talking about how it’s a problem we need to fix. But I don’t think we’re the only ones. In today’s world, most conversations are conducted through text messages, social media accounts or emails. Human interactions are becoming more and more scarce. I even do most of my shopping online, and now, you can grocery shop online.
This makes me worry for the next generation. Can you imagine a world full of people avoiding human interactions at all costs?
I guess my hubby and I will have to brush up on our social skills before we end up raising socially awkward children.