When I was a child, I was always amazed at the ability of adults to talk to anyone about anything.
I was so shy. I used to grip on to my mums coat pocket for dear life, afraid of anyone that spoke to me. I wanted to be invisible so I wouldn’t have to think of how to respond.
I thought it was because I was a child and that all children were like this. I thought when I grew up, I’d be like the rest of the adults and be able to talk to anyone.
When I was a teen, things didn’t change. I was still the same but because I was a bit older, people started to talk to me like an adult and I didn’t know how to respond so it felt like I had taken a massive step backwards in regards to my social skills.
I told myself to wait. When I was a bit older, things would change. I got a job – I was the same. I went to university, I was the same. I graduated university and was the same.
I turned 30. Guess what?
I was the same.
I have to admit that I am slightly better in social situations than I was when I was younger, but only slightly. The feeling is still the same. That awkwardness I feel, cringing at myself when I hear my voice out loud and it’s all monotone because I’m in my awkward mode. I may step out of my comfort zone a bit more, but the uncomfortableness still feels the same each time.
I thought I would naturally evolve into someone fluent in the art of conversation. But I didn’t. I often see people who are just great at making conversation. I can only have conversations with strangers if there is a purpose to it. I can meet with a stranger at work and go through the agenda points for our meeting, but if we were to have a cup of coffee before the meeting I’d be feeling like that 4 year old girl gripping onto her Mums pocket, wishing to climb inside and hide.
It’s silly because I know all the typical questions for small talk, I just can’t do it.
Can anyone else relate because it’s kind of bumming me out?