Remember that time you were 23 years old and you were at a job interview at a bank and you were a bit nervous and you attempted to say “I just spent six years in college” and instead you said, “I just spent sex years in college….” and then you spent the next couple of minutes trying to shift the focus from the fact that you just said the word “sex” in a job interview by talking about how you are so burned out by all of the thinking and hard work of college you just need to take a break for a while and that’s why you’re interviewing here at the bank?
And then you never hear back from them again?
It’s uncanny how alike we are isn’t it?
While this example might not be the best example of my superb abilities to embarrass the hell out of myself (because interviews are nerve-racking), it’s one of the most embarrassing examples I have and I wanted to start out with a bang.
I guess a job interview is a bit different, but nonetheless, this happens to me in a lot of situations: at the grocery store; when I run into an old high school friend; at parties where I don’t know a lot of people and so on. I get nervous, I start to say things that make no sense and I’m superb at sticking my foot in my mouth. It’s almost like all of the inappropriate and unacceptable behaviors that we’re all suppose to repress in order to function come busting out of my mouth like one big long Freudian slip.
Socially, most people probably wouldn’t peg me as being socially awkward as much as they would being “snobby”, reason being that when I don’t know what to ask next or what to say, I usually try to end the conversation or walk away. I actually do give off a “leave me alone” vibe, but only because I’m so nervous I’d rather sit in a corner by myself than have to endure navigating a conversation. So, I can completely understand their misconception.
My husband on the other hand, is a master at talking. I love watching him talk to virtually anyone and make it look easy to boot. He can be approached by a total stranger at a convenient store, and by the end of a 3-minute conversation, he’ll have figured out that he actually knows that guy because his uncle’s brother sold my husband’s father a motor once in 1994 and because this guy’s son went to school with my husband’s best friends’ brother and they were at a party once together.
What? I just sent him in to get some bread. Now he has a new friend?
The thing is, it’s not that I don’t like people, it’s the level of conversation that I hate. It’s the small talk. I can’t do it. You’d think it would be so easy to talk about the weather, or where someone lives or where they work and so on, but it’s excruciatingly hard for me. I sweat and shift my feet and cross my arms and basically think of an escape plan, which usually begins with me saying something totally offensive or just plain weird. Or nothing at all until you get so uncomfortable that you leave.
At parties, the small group of women who are exchanging stories about where they bought their wedding rings will give me hives. On the other hand, the woman who initiates conversation by asking me, “does it look like I peed my pants because I just got laughing so hard I think I leaked a little”? She won’t be able to get rid of me. I’m a sucker for someone who tells it like it is. It’s real. It’s raw and I love it. And what better way to bond with someone than to share stories about peeing your pants just from sneezing? I would have hired myself in a hot minute if I’d been interviewing me at the bank!?!?!?
Are you good at mingling in a room like it’s the easiest thing in the world, or would you much rather sit in a corner and exchange stories about times you mentioned sex in really inappropriate places?
Which situation makes you break out in hives? I’m not asking these questions for my health, I want to hear your stories too!!