I can't get enough blog hops, obviously. It's just the easiest way that I've found to connect with other bloggers. And since I don't have anything regular going on on Mondays anyway, I figured... Plus this one's aim is simply to connect bloggers with other bloggers. To find out what makes them tick, makes them write, what they're passionate about. To connect, support, learn from, encourage and commune with. And how friendly is that?
So a HUGE thanks to Dani at Entertaining Interest and Jackie at Bouquet of Books for creating this weekly meme. Sorry I'm so late to the party!
Knowing how verbose I am, it's probably not hard for you to believe that I could write an entire book on this subject. I have a certain amount of social phobia so I've got quite a lot of experience to draw from. But, since this is a hop, I will do my best to sum up: I suck at meeting new people. Yeah, that about covers it.
I'm fine once I know you- I can be outspoken and adventurous and very gregarious. But if I've never met you before? I'm mute. I can manage a firm handshake and fake smile. I can tell you my name and all that, but that's about where I run out of steam. You want small talk? Well, I got one word for you there: FAIL.
I've found a few ways of dealing with this over the years that work pretty well for me. The absolute best is to situate myself next to a friend who is very loud and outgoing so they can do all the heavy lifting. That way I can laugh at their jokes, smile at the references they make, and generally just look normal by standing next to them. When it's a particularly good friend they'll even talk about me to other people and make my life that much easier. (BTW, You rock, Kel!)
But when it's just me? Well then I gotta find someway to keep myself occupied (like with a game or something at a party) or just keep some of type of food or beverage on hand so I can look like I'm too busy eating or drinking to chat much. Of course that doesn't stop the constant barrage of questions from my inner critic wondering what horrible things those around me must think of me, but at least it makes me appear semi-human for a short time.
When I'm not me- Bev the person just hanging out at a party (which are the worst things in existence)- but instead am playing a role like counselor or teacher or what-have-you that I often have to play in my professional life, it's actually pretty easy for me to meet, interact with and assist new people. I mean, obviously- it's my job. Bev the counselor can meet and greet anyone. But then I have the upper hand.
And online I'm ok, too. Interacting through a computer is SO different from interacting in real life- thus why I like all the blog hops and don't avoid them like I do parties.
But when it's just me- just plain ole' socially phobic Bev- then it's pretty torturous. I HATE parties. I HATE social events that are technically parties but pose as something else (like weddings). I hate activities that leave a lot of time for you to just stand around chatting it up with strangers. But I don't rule the world, so people keep throwing these things and I keep having to suffer through them.
I've given up on growing into an outgoing person- I'm old enough that I'm pretty sure my personality isn't going to alter too drastically. And I've given up on training myself to become outgoing- I can do it professionally and I think that's the only way that works. And thank god I'm done with dating and have a solid enough circle of friends that I'm not lonely most of the time.But those parties, man. They are the WORST!
And there you have it. Expressed.
Now it's time to hop along because this is a Blog Hop!