It has never been easy for me; I don’t really know how to behave and speak in social situations. Sometimes, especially in a group setting, I don’t talk much due to a multitude of reasons. But it mostly isn’t because of shyness.
At times it is because I have no wish to participate due to disinterest in the conversation topic.
Other times I am not confident that any input from me will be of much value – after all, I believe in Quality, not Quantity; I don’t fancy incessant, meaningless chatter with the sole purpose of getting the conversation going. I cannot bring myself to have a dialogue as such:
Other Person: “Yes it’s so hard to cope and it gets stressful very often!”
Me: “Yeah, IKR. Totally stressful, I feel like.. idk, it’s just a lot of pressure!”
Because repetition/reiteration holds no value, to me. Agreement does, though, but it only validates responses such as, “Yeah”, “So true!”, “I agree”. I guess this is what makes me such a horrible speaker? I can be a listener, but not provide lengthy but empty responses. And yet that is what many people desire, I’ve come to realise. Fillers in conversation, not insightful, meaningful, meaty talk.
And then there are times when I don’t speak much because I truly have nothing to say, and I am simply too lazy to rack my brain to come up with a new topic. This happens a lot when interacting with strangers and/or in a group. Frankly, I am often perfectly happy to just sit there and listen and observe, especially if I have nothing in common with the interlocutors and cannot bear the brain strain from trying to squeeze out a trickle of whatever may be of interest to the group. If there is nothing to talk about, then I will not speak (unless I’m obliged to converse, like during orientation activities or something).
I don’t mind being left out of conversations. Sometimes, not speaking and just watching and listening can be more stimulating and fascinating for me. But, being the silent one in groups also means that it is almost always very difficult for me to interject when I actually have something to say, something I think may be of interest to everyone else. Because it is always strange and even slightly awkward to hear a new, extra voice inserted into a fluid conversation after, say, ten minutes of having only two people speaking.
… So I don’t say much.
If the subject matter is too foreign or boring to me, I may even just zone out and start paying attention to the surroundings or other people. Topics that are of interest to me are usually ones which are exceedingly self-indulgent, random, trivial and petty. That means that I am easily distracted if the discussion topic is too serious or involves matters/people that I simply do not care about. In which case I will find it pointless to participate verbally.
Well… Speaking of keeping attention, I just got bored of talking about this. HAHA. Yeah. Anyway, I just felt like talking about why I’m so lousy at conversing and basically just fail at socialising. Does this make me a weirdo? I don’t know anyone else who shares this problem. The aforementioned reasons seem perfectly legitimate in explaining my lack of conversational skills. Do they then make it excusable?
University will start next year, and I understand that if I want to succeed in the field of Journalism (both in studies and career), I will have to buck up a lot more and be able to speak a lot more like what is socially expected of me better.
That will be a lot of work. ): But I will make an effort, I really will.