I am socially awkward. I’m also an off-the-charts introvert. And I’m shy around new people and/or people who intimidate me (although I am noticing that more and more if I tell someone that I’m shy, they laugh, so maybe I don’t know me as well as I think I do).
And I have a knack for self-weirding.
I am, in other words, a disaster. Though I prefer, as much as possible, to chalk it up to being “quirky” and hoping for the best from that point on.
The other evening, an old friend called. It was good to hear their voice. Unexpected. Enjoyable. Pleasant enough. A nice conversation, all in all. We caught up for a few minutes. They were just finished telling me that they’d had occasion to get together with a bunch of people we both knew (well, people that I knew more tangentially; people I knew OF, anyway). And I said something about getting in touch with me next time they’re in town.
And then I felt really odd about that. Because I could hear that while all I meant was a friendly offer to get together, if/when they ever found themselves at loose ends in the area (and of course if they were interested in doing so, which I don’t at all assume to be the case) … it might be coming off wrong in so many ways. It might be sounding like something I didn’t intend at all. It might be coming out with a tone that sounded like pressure, or obligation, or even a bit of an admonition that they hadn’t reached out previously. (With no disrespect meant to my mother, whom I love dearly, I suspected that I might have sounded like my mother sometimes does when I’ve inadvertently disappointed her.)
And of course, none of that was my intention.
So, yeah, I did a great job of self-weirding, because I am truly gifted at it.
Oh well. I can’t actually know if I weirded them out. I can’t control their perceptions. And I don’t see any point in trying to (over) explain myself; either they understood it the way I meant it, or they didn’t. So (inhale, exhale) it is what it is: socially awkward. Just like me.
Though I still prefer quirky.