Why I get on better with people I’ve never actually met

*Note* I am not writing this post because I want people to feel sorry for me. As with most things on this blog I am writing it for me. Because it’s something I’ve been thinking about and getting it down on paper (figuratively speaking) is the best way for me to a) make sense of it and b) get it out of my brain so I don’t have to lie awake all night wondering why I can’t just be normal. End of note. Now on to the blog post.

I don’t deal well with social situations. Never have actually. I’m stupidly shy and just not a people person. Plus I lack social skills. I have no idea what to say to people I either don’t know or only know slightly, so when I’m placed in a situation where I’m supposed to socialise with them I tend to go really, really quiet and wait for someone to start a conversatiton with me. This usually leads to people thinking I’m either antisocial or miserable… not the kind of person you really want to start a conversation with. So they don’t and I don’t and once again I go home having had a really boring night and feeling like a complete failure.

That’s one scenario. Then there are the times I try too hard. I talk too much, laugh too loudly and for too long and say inappropriate things. The problem is I don’t even realise I’m going to say something inappropriate until it’s already out of my mouth and people appear uncomfortable, embarassed or start looking at me like I’m some kind of alien. Funnily enough this doesn’t exactly endear people to me either. In fact, I think they probably prefer the me who doesn’t talk. After all, antisocial is better than embarassing and weird.

Another factor is that I have low emotional intelligence. That doesn’t mean I don’t have any emotions… of course I have emotions. I’m not a robot! Although sometimes I wish I was… then someone could just reprogram me and I wouldn’t be here now boring the internet with my problems. No, not having emotional intelligence has nothing to do with lacking emotions… it just means I don’t understand my emotions or have trouble dealing with them. It also means I have trouble recognising and understanding other people’s emotions… so I can upset/offend/annoy someone without even realising it. Or, more often, I will notice that something’s wrong but I have no idea why. In my mind whatever it is I said was perfectly normal and nothing to get upset about. I have to really think about what I’ve said before I can work out what was wrong with it… and even then I can’t always see why it was that bad. Add to that the fact that I practically can’t manage to say three sentences without adding a major dose of sarcasm and you’ll see why I have trouble making friends. And the reason I can get on with bloggy people and penpals? Because it’s so much easier for me to realise how things are going to come across when I see them written down.

As I’m sure you can guess, this lack of emotional intelligence also makes its contribution to the not-so-good side of my relationship. Obviously it’s not our only problem, and not everything that’s wrong is my fault, but it is a major factor, which is actually part of the reason I’m writing this post. You see, yesterday the boyfriend and I made a deal. He will tell me his problems, rather than bottling them up and pulling away from me, and I will try to be nicer.  So this blog is part of my attempt to figure out how to be nice, because honestly… I’m not sure I have it in me…

5 thoughts on “Why I get on better with people I’ve never actually met

  1. I hope you don’t take this the wrong way because I don’t mean to offend (and I almost always inadvertently offend) but I don’t see why this would make me feel sorry for you. I don’t. I guess it’s because I kind of have the same thing going on. I think some people might see this as a problem but I see it as being me. I mean, sure, there are aspects that need to be worked on so we can have relationships with people, but some parts of it are just how we’re like.

    Okay… I don’t think I’m making sense. I think what I’m saying is if you act that way it doesn’t mean it’s all bad, right? Because that’s just how you are. I know some people who are uncomfortable in social situations. Some even prefer not to be around people. that doesn’t mean that it’s bad, it’s just how they’re like.

    I think you’re a good person. And I like that you say what you feel on your blog.

    This has to be the most stupid reaction I’ve ever left here… Sorry! But I did want to say something, even if it meant acting like a bumbling idiot.

  2. I think you’re probably being a little too critical of yourself here. I think everyone is always learning more about themselves and about how to improve their relationships and their interactions with others. Nobody is born knowing these things. You ARE nice and you would not intentionally offend or hurt a person’s feelings. If your boyfriend is more open about his feelings then that should help a lot. How can you change it if you don’t even know?

  3. incoherent – no, no, I’m not offended at all. Really! And your reaction is not stupid – it’s good to know I’m not the only one.

    Ali – You always make me smile. Thank you! Luckily the boyfriend does believe I’m a nice person… I just sometimes have trouble expressing it, and then he feels neglected. We’ll get there though, I think.

  4. I’ve blogged about this. I am SO bad at figuring out how I feel. It’s almost like I get in my own way. As for socially akward..hello…over here! We’ve had bloggy meet ups here in SA and I went to 2 and just stopped going because I was so akward. The people are lovely but I never know what to say. Or I say stupid stuff and make a fool of myself.

    You are NOT alone on this one.

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