the art of conversation.

If you know me well, you know that I am, perhaps, a little awkward introverted.

Not super awkward, I mean I hold down a well-respected job and have a husband and stuff, but I am a little awkward when it comes to situations where I feel uncomfortable. Namely places where I don’t know a lot of people or instances where I am forced to make small talk.

I hate small talk. I don’t care about the weather, I can see outside. 

I don’t much care how you are unless I actually know you (wow, that makes me sound SUPER approachable) and then instead of asking how you are I am likely to ask more specifically about something that I know you’re doing or working on or struggling with.

I came across this TED article on Facebook last night and it talks about turning small talk into interesting conversation. Obviously I read it because I need all the help that I can get and it was short enough to keep me interested.

I don’t know if there’s anything truly mind blowing in the article, but it did make me realize that instead of feeling awkward I should just rock my sarcasm. 

“How am I?”

“Well….my baby just pooped up his back while we were running errands and then screamed the entire 20 minute car ride home… I’m fine.”

(Not that that has ever happened. Uh huh.)

Ha.

Actually, the point “…Absurdity is underrated.” also struck me. Maybe my awkwardness is kind of cool?

I was at a dinner party on Saturday night where I only knew one person really well. I knew a couple of the other girls by association, but not super well.

Somehow, at the end of dinner, all eyes ended up on me. I don’t even remember what my friend asked me but it had to do with the baby and then everyone was all, “Oooh, you have a 2 month old? So fun! Are you SO tired? You look tired. Do you get out much? How does having a newborn make you feel? Are you taking time for yourself? Have you asked for help? It’s SO great that you’re out. You look good! So, does he cry a lot? Is he sleeping? Are YOU sleeping?”

Did I mention that this dinner was for a really good friend who is a social worker as are some of her friends? Needless to say, they have no issue with talking to strangers.

I on the other hand started getting really hot….like a little clammy and sweaty hot.

I kept saying, “Is anyone else really hot?” and fanning myself. I don’t think I looked awkward at all. I think that I might have even mumbled something about still retaining water and sweating a lot… which is definitely not true after 2 months and also not awkward to mention to a group of strangers.

So many questions, all focused on me.

AWK.WARD.

I am not good with all eyes on me unless it’s at work because that’s my job and I have to sometimes make presentations and stuff, but I IMMEDIATELY become sarcastic or funny in all other eyes-on-me situations.  I’m not sure that being sarcastic with a group of social workers is effective – perhaps when i left they recommended to my friend that I need therapy?! I wonder if they got my humor or thought that I was making jokes to mask my pain.

Either way….

I’m going to work on embracing my absurdity. I am going to throw caution to the wind. I’m going to learn to enjoy talking to strangers about stupid topics because I am forced to.

In another life.

I commend those of you who can talk to anyone. I wish I had that skill. I just… don’t – not socially anyway. Work related? Interviews? Random cashiers or waiters?… all good. A large group of acquaintances? No thank you.

I try, I really do… I just sometimes get clammy in the process. It’s fine.

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