Sociability / Social ability
I have a problem. That problem is that I’m not sociable at all. One problem usually causes other problems. In my case, not being sociable has caused me to spend most of my time in front of my computer, alone in my room up here. Which is obviously not good for one’s physical and mental health, and only causes the problem to get worse.
The interesting part is that I am very sociable with people online. I’ve met well over 60 people online which I still talk to every now and then, some of them daily, all over the course of 2 and a half years. When it comes to getting to know new people in real life though, it’s a bit tougher for me. I feel uncomfortable whenever I get in a situation where I have to talk to a stranger. This causes me to avoid social contact with them as much as possible, as I feel far more comfortable in my own little world of thoughts.
When you see me on a train heading for evening school, you’ll notice I have earphones in, and I’m mostly using my my mobile phone. What I’m doing on my phone? Chatting with people online. This can be the people in the chatroom of TAP, or just people on MSN. In fact, I get really annoyed when I don’t have network coverage on the train, because that means I’m alone. It’s kind of ironic that I can’t stand being alone when I have nothing to do, yet I don’t talk to people (in real life). I basically take my Internet social circle with me everywhere I go.
Anyway, I think I’m the most comfortable with getting to know people in real life by first having relatively short moments together, preferably with someone I already knew around. I’ll be honest: at first I didn’t feel very comfortable with my classmate and electronics teacher in evening school, simply because I didn’t know them. By now, the end of the year, they’ve become good friends, and we have inside jokes and everything. At the very start, I was uncomfortable with them, mostly because I don’t know how to behave myself with people I don’t know. I seem to be petrified to get into awkward situations.
Needless to say, I won’t be the one that starts a conversation with a stranger, unless it really is required for something. I do want to get over this. I’ve been told by people that I’m a friendly guy, but I’m pretty sure that’s only from people that have known me for a while. I may be friendly, but I don’t think many people who only know me in real life know what’s really spinning in my head. I’m a closed box, because I’m scared to be judged about things. I wish I could just stand up and not care about judgments, and just be who I am, talk about it to people without constantly fearing awkwardness. I’ve realized that being afraid of awkward moments just attracts said moments. This knowledge hasn’t solved that problem in its entirety though.
I want to get over this, I want to actually become sociable and dare to talk about myself, talk about things I actually care about more openly, while actually stating my opinion. I can’t get more sociable by just being forced to spend a long period of time with people I don’t know; I want to find another way to slowly build myself to not be a ‘wuss’ and just shamelessly talk to people. Without the need for a bit of alcohol.