9 Things You’ve Probably Done if You’re Socially Awkward
One day last week, I was out for a run, when I happened to arrive at a road I needed to cross, just as a car started to drive down it. As I slowed down, I noticed the driver hesitate, as if they were wondering whether or not they should stop for me, so, to save them the trouble, I did something I’m sure the socially awkward amongst you will surely understand:
Instead of crossing the road, as I’d intended, I calmly turned left, and pretended that was the way I’d been intending to go all along, even though, no, it totally wasn’t. My intention here was to just run along until the car was out of sight (Which, to be fair, should only have taken a few seconds, given the road layout…), then cross the road at that point.
But the car stopped anyway: presumably for some other reason than letting my stupid self past.
So, instead of just going a few metres out of my way in my bid to not inconvenience this random driver, who I knew I would never see again, I ended up having to fully commit to this new path I found myself on, and which was taking me in the opposite direction from home, just so the person didn’t realise I’d only been pretending to want to go that way.
I have NO idea why I did this. Like, none. I mean, it’s not like I’d have been committing some hideous faux pas if I’d allowed the car to stop for me, is it? Hell, it’s not even like either of us would’ve remembered it two minutes later. Even so, I went ahead and somehow managed to make a totally normal situation awkward: because that’s what I do, basically. It’s kind of like my superpower, except it’s not really a “power,” exactly, and there’s absolutely nothing “super” about it either, so… yeah. Like I say, I have no idea. What I DO know, however, is that I do things like this a LOT. And, if you have social anxiety – or are just plain awkward – I bet you do, too.
Here are some other things social awkwardness has made me do: tell me if you relate to any of them…
Taken the stairs because there was already someone in the lift when the doors opened and I didn’t want to have to make awkward conversation / equally-awkward silence with them for the two whole minutes the ride would’ve taken.
Felt OUTRAGED when I’ve been in the lift on my own, and, at the last minute, someone has dashed forward and squeezed themselves through the barely-open doors. Like, they couldn’t just have waited for the next one? REALLY?
Waited until the street was empty before leaving the house, to minimise the chances of having to interact with anyone.
Avoided going into that shop I want to buy something from, because I know the sales assistant is going to pounce the second I walk through the door, and, honestly, I just want to grab the thing I need to buy and leave, with the absolute minimum of fuss. (YES, LUSH, I’M LOOKING AT YOU, HERE…)
Bought something I didn’t need just because the sales assistant was SO NICE.
Pretended to recognise the person I just answered the door to, even though I’m pretty certain I’ve never seen them before in my life. (I seriously almost invited the pizza delivery guy into our house one time, because we were having a party, and I assumed he must be someone I knew, but didn’t recognise. The poor guy was so bemused…)
Asked someone to repeat themselves twice, because I couldn’t hear them properly, then, the third time it happened, just pretended to know what they said. Then spent the next few minutes in an agony of suspense, hoping I’d given the appropriate response, and not just laughed at the news that their goldfish just died or something. I can’t even count the times I’ve done this now…
Thought I recognised someone from a distance and started waving enthusiastically, only to realise it’s actually a complete stranger, so now I have to pretend to be waving at someone BEHIND them, who is ALSO a complete stranger. GAH.
Pretended to be so relaxed I’m almost asleep during beauty treatments, when I’m actually wide awake, and just desperate to avoid small-talk. Like, HOW do people actually SLEEP during beauty treatments? HOW?
OK, your turn: what kind of things have YOU done, purely because you’re awkward?