Today The office I work at was being honored at the local Chamber luncheon for being a member for 25 years. We all had to attend. I am not big on crowds, or on networking, especially in a forced environment, especially well… crowds… of people… that I DO.NOT.KNOW! And we had to get our pictures taken while receiving our lovely “25 years of membership” plaque. (More awkward uncomfortableness).
But in the end it wasn’t such a bad experience. People were generally nice and many seemed like they felt just as out of place as I did. And I’ve decided that rather than focus on how that is so not my thing. Or allow myself to dwell on the uncomfortable, negative aspects of a lunch spent sitting at a table of strangers, and getting my picture taken in a room full of strangers. I am going to analyze why I felt so uncomfortable, what is it that causes the anxiety and awkwardness? This way I can work towards overcoming it.
I have recently started watching Parks and Recreation. I find the show really quite funny. Well, today’s lunch made me realize just how much I can relate to Amy Poehler’s character, Leslie Knope, she is one of the most socially awkward people EVER. How did I become this? I used to be fairly outgoing. I was never great in large crowds but I wasn’t afraid of a table of 5 strangers. And as a teenager, getting my picture taken was no big thing, come on it was attention! Now it’s attention I do not want. OK I am not as bad as Leslie Knope, I have never panicked and excused myself to go to the “whiz palace… the bathroom, right I need to go to the bathroom!”. But I do get tongue tied and say stupid things. One on one, small groups, a setting I am comfortable in I’m fine, but put me somewhere where I feel anxious, and add a bunch of strangers (try 100 or so), forget it.
And so this is my new goal. I am going to change my perspective (hence the title…). I will stop and look at why I feel anxious, embarrassed and awkward. And then focus on what I can do to ease these feelings, with the final goal to stop. Today was a good learning experience.
Step 1: think clearly before speaking.
Stranger “Hello my name is Yeshka”
Me “Yeshka… I like that”
stop rewind… try again
Me “Yeshka, what a lovely name, my name is Andrea”.
See much better, less socially awkward and now she also knows my name.
I can so do this… I mean seriously at this point it’s 1 step. As I figure things out there will be more steps, but for now 1 step – THINK then speak, how can I possibly screw that up? I think I need more me time and more adult that is not my family time, I have become a hermit crab and now it’s time to loose the shell. 🙂
(I was going to add some cute pictures of Hermit crabs with and without their shells, but after looking at Google images of hermit crabs I have changed my mind… Hermit crabs look like parasitic aliens, they are FREAKY!!!)