Wednesday, April 04, 2007

You're talking, I'm sighing.

In my mind, there are two types of people: the talkers and the listeners. I find myself firmly rooted in the listeners side. I cannot make conversation with people to save my life. That is, unless I'm conversing with a talker. Then, and only then, I can be considered a good conversationalist. Because all that's required is for me to listen and interject my opinion here and there. But if it's me who is required to carry a conversation, then forget about it. It will be several moments of awkward sighs and looking around the room until one of us can find a reason to flee, and quickly.

I've always been shy. I have a ton of things to say in my mind, but I can never get them to come out correctly. And if I don't know you well, I have a tendency to speak loudly and awkwardly, with lots of little giggles and sentences that start and then trail off like, well...yeah. *sigh*

Since I've had kids my shyness has subsided a little. Mostly because it has forced me to have to interact with various people. And I've always got the kids there to focus on. For instance, when we are at Tae Kwon Do practice, I can speak with the parent next to me about the class, and then stare at my son, all the while pretending that what I really want to do is concentrate on his movements, when instead I have just run out of things to say. Also, I can use them as an excuse to leave, when really all I'm doing is bailing - getting the heck out of dodge.

When I was younger my shyness was based on my lack of self-confidence. I was afraid of doing or saying something that I shouldn't, or what someone would see as wrong. But now it's more out of a lack of skills. I think I missed out on all those years of honing my abilities. When other children were trying out their conversational skills and getting through the awkwardness, I was busy hiding behind my father. And then I was hiding behind my more outgoing friends. And then I was hiding behind my husband. And now I'm hiding behind the computer. (So much for honing my social skills.)

So if you don't get phone calls from me, know that it's not because I don't like you, it's because I'm not comfortable talking on the phone. And I don't go to many big events because of the talking - oh my god all the talking - that's required. And it's always small talk, which, of course, is the kind I'm worst at. But if ever you have to unload a whole bunch of words, I'm your girl. I can listen and listen. Just don't expect me to fill in too much when you finally stop and then there's that awkward silence. Because, well, hee hee, well...*sigh*

Are you a talker or a listener?

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