My Little Secret

When you meet me in person, you’ll think I’m the most jovial, outgoing person you have ever met.

I’m the co-worker who remembers everyone’s birthday and insists that we all go out lunch to celebrate. I’m the one at a party who can strike up conversations with strangers. People who don’t know us would think we’re long lost friends. I’m also the assumed host and coordinator of social events that occur within my circle.

What can I say? I’m pretty awesome.

What would surprise you about my social-butterfly ways is that I am very awkward.

I hate talking on the phone because I’m afraid of that long pause in between conversations that always occurs.

During casual office chit-chat, I never know when to end a conversation. I constantly worry whether I ended it too soon. I may also spend the majority of the exchange planning an exit strategy.

awkward bc me

If I know I’m going to meet someone for the first time, I find out everything I can about them so I can identify talking points. I learn their profession on LinkedIn, hobbies on Facebook, their address on BeenVerified, and their upcoming wedding date from their registry on The Knot. But when I meet them, I freeze, trying to decide how to initiate a conversation that doesn’t make me appear like a crazy-online-stalker-woman.

imageedit_3_5622213572.png

Well, there’s no point in hiding the truth.

Today, I’m going to tell you that I am that crazy-online-stalker woman. I’m a social butterfly, but constantly struggling about how, when, and where to let the social part of me fly. I’m fun. I’m upbeat. I’m sociable, but I’m also awkward. And I’m sharing with you, S&T, the moments that make me feel the most uneasy.

Seeing a co-worker at the grocery store

It’s Christmastime and I’m doing my shopping in preparation for guests. I’m walking through the produce section and listening to an automated voicemail message from my doctor’s office. I see a familiar face, but I’m so busy making sure that my appointment is secured that it doesn’t register that the familiar face belongs to my co-worker.

I see him again in the bakery section. We talk for awhile and part ways.

But then, I see him again in the canned goods aisle. I can greet him again but what more is there to say to a co-worker at a grocery store? So, I stand in the middle of the aisle, looking lost. I secretly plot my next move. Should I walk past, acting like I don’t see him or re-route so I can avoid him altogether?

I choose to re-route my journey and add 20 extra minutes to my shopping experience.

i have no idea

Ending the obligatory office chit chat

I’m on my way back to my cubicle when I bump into my friendly co-worker.

“Cute shoes,” I say.

“Thanks,” she replies. She then continues to tell me where she got them. Then, she tells me about her weekend and that cute thing her 5-month old did this morning. Five minutes later, we are still chatting, but the conversation is tailing off and I’m getting tired.

awkward bored.gif

Via Buzzfeed

My level of obligatory office chit-chat meter has been filled and now, I want to get back to my cubicle and continue listening to my podcast playlist.

So, what do I do?

I look at my phone, pretend that the red Facebook notification is informing me of something urgent. I take three steps back and hope she follows my cue. I’m done hearing about her identity-crisis-ridden cat who thinks she’s a dog.

gotta-go-fast

Ending a phone conversation

Call me a millennial cause I hate talking on the phone. I rather approach a questionable stranger on the street than pick up the phone and call someone. I rather eat a bowl of oysters then call someone on the phone. I’d rather go road cycling in 30-degree weather than pick up a phone and call someone…

Okay, you get the picture.

Before I call someone, I always rehearse what I’m going to say. If I know what I’m going to say, then I can prevent that awkward pause. The person on the other end doesn’t have to think, Why is this freak breathing in my ears? So I like to be prepared.

But, after the smoke — I mean conversation —  clears, and it’s time to get off the phone, I often struggle with how to say goodbye.

Here are the options I consider:

a) K, nice chatting with ya. Gotta go. Bye!

b) I’ll call you back.

c) I got a call coming through…

Option C for the win! It never fails.

So, S&T, you’ve heard me discuss my little secret. Have you found yourself in any of these awkward situations? What did you do? And does anyone like talking on the phone anymore??? Let’s chat in the comments section!

53 thoughts on “My Little Secret

    • Scribbles and Tostitos says:

      OMG! I almost laughed aloud in the office when I read this. Cause it is so true! Or, making a doctor’s appointment, or an appointment to take your car in. I tell you – the Internet was the best thing that I ever happened to me. Now, I can avoid the phone altogether.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Grace Esedeke says:

    I think I’m worse than you..
    I’m not a social butterfly.
    I’m a super classic 100% melancholic-introvert.
    I can be in a room for days and nobody knows I’m there.

    As for phones… lol. My family and friends are tired of complaining about my not taking calls.
    Not that I intentionally refuse taking their calls, but 99% of the time I’m thinking of what to say, when to say it, and how..

    It’s much like getting a personal email from a fellow blogger or reader asking to be friends among other things. I’ll spend hours thinking of what to write or say so I don’t come off as boring, awkward, unfriendly or ‘too formal’

    I’ve not found a trick to take care of any of these.
    But it feels safe to know I’m not alone here.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. worldwidewalkies says:

    Yes, yes and yes – I am a social butterfly who used to be a salesperson – and even with professional training, my hubby mocks me because I can’t close conversations! I hate the phone, but I think that is a reaction to spending my entire professional life with one ear glued to a mobile, speaking to strangers.

    Your little secret is out – and from the comments, it looks like it is a few others’ little secret too… So be heartenend! You are not alone and people understand and identify with you.

    You also sound like a very kind and caring person, who goes to a lot of trouble to remember little details about people and find conversaton-starters. That is a GOOD point. People like to talk rather than listen. And the subject they like to talk about most; THEMSELVES!

    So get out there, don’t worry and be yourself. There is nothing to fear except fear itself!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Scribbles and Tostitos says:

      Haha! I’m starting to think the art of closing conversations is a struggle that introverts and extroverts face, so that’s comforting. Aww, thanks, I’m over here blushing. I love people and I really do try to understand and learn as much as I can about them. I appreciate your encouraging words very much!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. letsbuildfutures says:

    I’m totally awkward and introverted and still have the same issues! I Never know when to end an office conversation, or running into old classmates/coworkers in public places…it all makes me cringe thinking about but it is truly hilarious. I worry, like you, about doing or saying the right thing all the time; sometimes I just need to relax and let my awkwardness “fly”.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The Lockwood Echo says:

    I’m an introvert with a capital ‘I’, so completely relate to all of the above. My friend taught me a trick to get out of converstaions/situations; simply say ‘Well, I’d better let you go’. Makes you look thoughtful and apologetic that YOU’VE been keeping the other person talking. But of course, if someone says it to me I get incredibly self-conscious and anxious that I’ve been my usual weird awkward self!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tom Being Tom says:

    You and I would get along just fine; I’m a pro at conversation extraction! When we’re talking I’ll make it abundantly clear when we’re done, and you’ll walk away feeling the whole thing was pleasant as plum, didn’t carry on too long, and — my favorite compliment — was “easy.”

    Also, if we run into others together, I can leave you talking with them while I extract without effort. 😉

    Great stuff, Yaa Yaa!

    Liked by 2 people

      • Tom Being Tom says:

        Haha! Well, it depends on the situation; each one is different. 😁

        I do get asked by co-workers all the time how I extract so effortlessly and graciously, but I usually just joke with them that I have a “particular set of skills.” 😉

        But, for you, Scrib and Tos, I’ll take a good long look at how I perform these actions over the next few weeks, and report back on what particular body language, cues, and actions I’m taking during these extraction maneuvers. 😎

        Who knows, maybe this turns into a book! 🤣

        Liked by 1 person

      • Tom Being Tom says:

        Oh, by the way, Saturday morning my first customer was a friendly old guy who wanted to tell me every bit of logic and rationale he had for wanting a new dryer, and every step he took in realizing the old one was beyond repair. I immediately thought of you. I went into extraction mode.

        I was very polite, laughing and making commentary on his anecdotes, but I kept moving. Moving worked. He didn’t have the speed to follow. I disappeared to process his check. I vanished into the warehouse to tag his item sold. I made a copy I didn’t need of his invoice. All the while I subtly moved him closer to the exit upon each re-entry, with my body language, until I gave him one more big, hearty laugh by the front door, and wished him a good day. 🙂

        As I walked away, he left with a smile. The whole thing consumed maybe 10 minutes. He had a new dryer, a new “friend,” I had a sale and I saved an hour’s time that, in all honesty, would have consumed my co-workers. They would have ended with “why didn’t you save me from that guy?!”

        So, the first extraction technique I used after speaking with you about it was: movement. If we always look busy, even when we’re not, folks begin to assume we have many other, very important, things to do. 😉

        Like

      • Scribbles and Tostitos says:

        Haha! On the move!! That’s an excellent tactic.

        And it’s funny you mentioned it. Today, I went to a co-worker’s office to ask her a quick question about an email she sent. We talked for a little while, but when I was done, I walked out. And I was so proud of myself cause I effectively ended the conversation.

        The only problem was she was still talking. When she looked up and I was gone and heard her say, “Oh, okay. Have a nice day!”

        I felt awkward once again. I just left her hanging.

        But you did your move with tact. The guy didn’t feel weird or anything. I’ll need to try that again with a little finesse.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Tom Being Tom says:

        Haha! Well, it does take practice, but practice makes perfect! Next time you might drop a quick, “Awesome, thanks!” as you wander off, having strategically picked a lull in her monologue. Heck, you might even add a quick “You’re the best!” 🙂

        That almost always leaves ’em smiling. 😉

        Like

  6. classyyogapants says:

    I could relate!! That sounds JUST like me before my anxiety meds kicked in. Phone calls were the worst but now I like the efficiency but still get the feeling of victory and relief every time I make it through the call safely. One of my secrets is still walking into a restaurant to meet up with people who are already there waiting, the one I hate MOST is walking out of the arrival doors of the airport in front the sea of expecting faces. O.O

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Positively Alyssa says:

    That is hilarious! I am very much the same. I absolutely HATE talking on the phone but in person can be a social butterfly! I remember all birthdays and always want to do something special for each person! I can chat in person with pretty much anyone I meet. I am more than happy to email, text or chat online but I do my best to not talk on the phone. I have always been very anti phone and I have no idea why! I can read someones expressions in person but sometimes it isn’t that easy on the phone. I loved reading this post!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. iwannabealady says:

    A few years ago when I realized that I had starting morphing into my mother by saying good bye 10 times at the end of a conversation, I decided that shit was over. I’m so insistent on no more than two good byes that I sometimes fear I hang up on people as they’re trying to get another word in. In person I’m the worst.

    I remember when texting came out my sister would piss me off because I’d call, she’d let it go to voicemail and then text me “what’s up” immediately after. I was like wtf? you don’t like me or something? Now I do the same to everyone except I wait 5 minutes to make it convincing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Nocturnal Sagittarius says:

    THIS IS AN AWESOME READ!
    I too, fill the social butterfly description but am also very awkward! The only moment in this interview where I was screaming, YAAASSSS in total agreement was when DG disgusted her phone interactions! I spend my 8 hour workdays on the phone so I feel most comfortable through those means on communication! However I’m not sure I can say one way or another whether I enjoy or despise it. I honestly think it has a lot to do with the person on the other line and the reason we are talking!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Paige Herbert says:

    Sooooo it looks like I’m the extrovert that fits the mold LOL. I love phone calls. I’m the person that you’re probably tip toeing away from in the office. I can’t help myself! My mom and I can literally stay on the phone for hourssss and it’s not until one of our phone’s die that we think about wrapping it up. I will say though, as an extrovert I do rather enjoy my solitude on occasion simply because I surround myself with so much noise (or I am the noise..) that I need some time to recharge. My boyfriend is great balance for me because he’s like 65% extrovert, 35% introvert. Which means that after a week of me ranting, he needs a boy’s night lol

    See…I had more to share but I feel like I’m doing it again. Love you Yaa Yaa! Stay fun, stay awkward ❤ I adore you regardless.

    Like

  11. Crystal says:

    Oh my gosh!!! We’re like the same person lol! Self-checkouts and being able to order online have literally saved my life lol! I’m so awkward it’s painful sometimes. I find myself laughing at myself in my awkward moments, then I become even more awkward because people catch me being extra awkward. I loved this post!!!! ♥ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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