Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Creepy, Clingy Chatterbox
I am completely unskilled at exiting conversations, and I mean with anyone. Loved-ones, strangers, forget telemarketers! It's undoubtedly rooted in low self-esteem, but it's getting ridiculous. In the best circumstances, I annoy the nuts out of friends and colleagues. Other times, I attract unflappable creepy clingers and a couple stalkers who followed me home off city buses.
The worst is at parties or mixers or formalized social functions where my few benign closers are inappropriate or out of context. "No, I don't have to leave for work right now, I just recognize that guy over there and want to say hello before I forget."
Why don't I say that?
Other people say things like that, sometimes to me. I didn't feel rejected, I felt respected and adult. How direct. But being direct triggers my over-developed sense of guilt, which is too often coupled with a compulsion to apologize. A lot. Before I realize it, I'm the creepy-clinger who can't take a hint and won't leave your table.
Or walks you to your car...
A friend advised me to create a "social character" for myself, empowered with the bag of tricks I can't seem to carry, that I can refer to when needed. I am a writer, I can write such a character. But there's a reason I'm not an actor, and I don't make a terribly good liar, either. Another friend suggested alcohol -- thank you for that, sound advice I'm sure. I could just quit whining and over-thinking and simply apply myself.
Time to acknowledge the obvious and practice, practice, practice.
...but I'm also open to more suggestions.