I just read an article on Cracked about the way awkward people are always portrayed in movies. And as an awkward person, I think that guy hit it right on the head. The truth is just because you put someone in a dress or suit or fix their hair in a certain way, they aren’t going to suddenly become outgoing and popular.
It made me think about my awkwardness. I spent a great deal of my school days trying to fit in. But my awkwardness and dislike of most people (yeah, I hate most people), just made it hard for me. I distinctly recall asking some girls if I could be their friend. I was like 10 or 11. I think they just thought I was weird and said yeah. But then they promptly ignored me.
Is being awkward really a bad thing? I mean, as a person, I still have a lot to offer the world. Just because I’m an introvert and don’t constantly draw attention to myself doesn’t mean I have little value as a person. As a people watcher, I recognize certain personalities and traits almost instantly. I can tell you within 5 minutes if this or that person is a sociopath, psychopath, extrovert, annoying loud mouth or an all around good person. Because those are the categories I place most people in. I also am fantastic at detail oriented things. I am great at Photoshop work. I make fabulous mosaics. My photos are generally pretty nice because I see things that others don’t see.
As an adult, I’m still pretty awkward. Especially when I talk, even when it’s just one other person I’m talking to. And there are some people who make my palms sweaty. My sister is one. Because she’s got a PhD., she’s older than me, and she makes me feel like an idiot. She doesn’t do it on purpose. I know that. But I really just want her to be proud of me and not think “Gee, my younger sister is a real dumbass.” But sometimes when I get off of the phone with her, I think “Why did I say that? That was a stupid thing to say. I’m such an idiot.” Although, this thought goes through my head pretty much all the time. If I have interacted with someone, the end of my day is pretty much a loop of this. Of course, it’s not their fault. It’s just me and the way I perceive them. Do they really think they are smarter than me? Probably not. But I feel like they are smarter than me. And that they think they are smarter than me. So, I just don’t talk much.
If I am really comfortable with a group of people or if I know a lot about the subject, and of course, when I’ve had enough booze, I can really be the life of the party. But then I get home. And I think “What the hell was I thinking? I said this wrong or that wrong. Those people think I’m an idiot now. They are laughing at me behind my back.” And then I come up with this little gem… “Am I really important enough to make fun of?”
I am, for all intents and purposes, a forgettable person. I have no physical attributes that make unusual or stand out in a crowd. I am 5’2”, 132 lbs, brown hair, brown eyes. I tend to be quiet (see above), so in general I don’t make much of an impression. I know that you are saying “Pshaw, PR, don’t be so hard on yourself.” But it’s true. There have been many a time I have been out and people that I have met and talked to several times have looked right through me. But then they see my husband, whom everyone loves and recognizes immediately, and whammo they know me. But only as his wife, not as a myself. I am not saying that I hate this. Or that I even dislike it. It did used to bother me a bit. But now, I don’t mind. Anonymity has it’s advantages.
It is frustrating, sometimes, to live in my head. But I don’t have to put up with drunk idiots or other people’s kids. I don’t have to deal with crowds full of people and the always loud asshole who makes everybody else feel like shit. I am not expected to entertain or produce some fabulous mind boggling bit of trivia. Nope. I get to stay home and read or write or do whatever in the hell I want to do. If I do get invited to the odd party or gathering, I get to sit in the corner and watch all the extroverts make asses of themselves while I judge the hell out of them.
Addendum: After reading this again, I realize it is as awkward as I am. It rambles a bit. Sort of like me when talking to a group of people.
I was always very awkward and introverted until I got a job that required I deal with people on a regular basis and portray authority. I am better now, but it took a very long time. Look in the mirror, tell that person she can do it and smile.