I’ve been a bit quiet of late and I apologise for that. I have been doing some serious internal thinking and that hasn’t left a lot of head space for blogging. With Christmas time approaching and lots of parties and socializing going on, I have been ruminating about why I dislike social gatherings with non-friends so much. With people I know and whose company I enjoy I love spending time with them talking about nothing and everything. However, put me in a room with people I only vaguely know and it is, for me, a fate worse than death. I hate making small talk. What do normal people talk about anyway with people they don’t really know or have nothing in common with? Most people seem to do this quite well. I can manage about 2 minutes of conversation before I want to turn and run. I have nothing to say. I detest coming up with inane questions and taking part in chit-chat. I long for someone else to join the conversation so I can leave, but then that leaves the problem of what to say when departing. I can’t very well say, I’m leaving because I have nothing more to say or just leave without saying a word (although I do tend to do that quite a bit) as people get highly offended by that. There has to be the excuse of why I no longer want to talk to someone which for me causes more stress.
By the end of these social encounters, I am tired and stressed out and usually need some serious time alone to recharge my batteries. I envy those who find talking to random people a fun experience. I think this is why I enjoy the online social networking world so much. I can talk to people I barely know without the whole stress factor of being in an actual face to face conversation with them. I can leave a conversation with a simple ttyl or bye and people don’t get upset by this. It is a very non-stressful environment for me.
Am I the only one who finds making small talk extremely stressful and undesirable? Am I ‘odd’ for finding most forms of socializing a draining experience? Am I a terrible person for not wanting to go to my office Christmas party and being quite relived when work actually prevented me from going?