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…

This time next week…

Firstly, can someone please tell me a) what webtaskr.com is, b) why it keeps appearing in my incoming links and c) why, when I click on the link to it, do I find a paragraph from one of my blogs there with a link to me at the bottom with “read the original” post. What’s going on??? Answers on the back of a postcard please (or in the comments section if you’d prefer 😉 )

And now back to what I really wanted to talk about.
This time next week I’ll be getting ready for my last day at my current place at work. It’s very scary and also quite sad (as in upsetting, not uncool). How can it have been almost a whole year since I started my internship there? It doesn’t seem like that long. And yet, at the same time, it feels like I’ve been there forever. I love working there. Love the banter (by email) with other English-speaking interns from our branches throughout Germany. Love most of the translations I get to do. Even some of the proofreads are fun (yesterday I was reading a very funny translation about jeans). My colleagues here in Karlsruhe are brilliant – two are pretty much my age and the third is only five years older. It’s great. We can have a laugh together and I don’t feel like the little, inexperienced child amongst all the adults who know exactly what they’re doing.

And now it’s time to leave.

A week on Monday I start my new internship. Between leaving where I am now and starting at the new place I have exactly 3 days to mentally prepare myself. My current mood? Nervous, sad, excited, nostalgic, terrified… it’s an emotional rollercoaster.