Recently, I have been made very aware of another glaring flaw in my social skills.
OK, I've always known I'm bad at speaking, especially in front of people. But I realized that there a few different types of awkward conversations that I have on a regular basis.
Maybe I'll turn this into a video for my YouTube channel. Who knows.
1. The Stumble and Mumble
This is the conversation where I, the awkward person, find myself constantly tripping over my own tongue.
These sentences sound great in my head beforehand; you know, when I spent an hour going through all possible avenues of conversation so I'll be prepared. (A real thing I do, don't judge.) But then I try to speak, and it's like there's a little gnome in my throat, cackling as it distracts the words "I am" just long enough for "so stupid" to escape first. Then I sound like an asshole.
So from there, my end of the conversation usually evolves into a mumble, where I'm hoping no one will actually notice the lack of proper English.
2. The Distracted Nod and Smile
Sometimes, I'm just not interested in a conversation. It happens so often, and I always feel bad because I feel like I should at least be a little bit interested in other people's lives. But sometimes, I'm just not.
So the conversation devolves into a one-sided rant, which might as well be directed at an inanimate object. Then again, inanimate objects can't pretend to be interested, so I guess there's that... (I would know. I talk to my things all the time.)
The problem with this whole nod and smile thing is that, eventually, I get distracted and start nodding and smiling at evenly spaced intervals or based on verbal cues that merit a reaction.
But there always comes a time when they ask me a question. And of course, I didn't actually hear a word, so I nod. Then, they're either confused because it wasn't a yes/no question, or they blindly believe that, yes, I did in fact vote for Donald Trump.
And the only way to argue my way out of that is to admit that I wasn't actually listening. So what do I do?
Hope to God that rumor doesn't spread around.
3. The Rant
On the other side of the coin...I can be the ranter just as easily as I can be the I-don't-actually-give-a-fuck-but-I'll-pretend-to...er. (Damn it, that sounded so much funnier in my head.)
But sometimes, someone triggers something in me. They mention something I love. Skyrim, perhaps. A word related to Skyrim. A word that's related to something that's related to Skyrim. Something unrelated to Skyrim but that reminded me of something that reminds me of Skyrim. From there, it's a downward spiral.
I just won't shut up. It's word vomit. And I'm well-aware that the other person is pulling the distracted-nod-and-smile act — that shit doesn't fool me — but I still can't shut up. I mean, you can't really stop vomit even though you want to, right? You just have to let it all out...
Good analogy, Domi. Way to gross them out. Moving on.
4. The Bad Response
So you know when people say "Good morning, how are you?" and you reply with "Potato"? No? Well, shit.
All jokes aside, people will say things like, "thank you," and I'll respond with "you too," all the time. Then there's this awkward pause, and I know they know I screwed up, but they're too polite to say it.
Yeah...this one is pretty self-explanatory. I should know the proper way to respond to certain things by now, but it never quite works out.
5. The Record Player
This is probably my favorite, because it basically describes my entire conversation style. Here's how a conversation with me might go:
Person: Hello, how are you?
Me: Fantastic! You?
Me: So what are you up to?
Person: Oh, you know, just homework.
Me. Huh. I see. (pause) So whatcha doing?
Me: Right, right, you said that. (pause) So uh, what are you doing...later?
Me: I fucking hate the cold!
Person: It's not even cold out.
Me: I need it to be at least 70 degrees. I lived in the islands, you know.
Person: Oh cool. I like it this temperature.
Me: That's ridiculous. It's too cold.
Person: You're weak.
(a few moments later)
Me: I fucking hate the cold. It's gotta be at least 70 degrees. Like, at the VERY least.
Person: You already said that.
Me: I know. That's how much it bothers me.
Me: Did I mention I lived in the islands?