I'm not your bitch, don't hang your shit on me.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Freeze

Tonight’s industry party is so exclusive that I’m grateful my friend C put my name on the guest list. While the purpose of the event is to introduce a new line of cell phones to a selection of celebrities, “it” people and media, in all realities, the guests want to be there to see and be seen.

After the collection is shown in a multi-part stage/fashion show, the runway is removed and people begin to dance to the music of the live band.

As I’m talking to a few of my other friends, C comes up to me and wants to introduce me to a few of her friends.

Oh fuck, no.

I hate being introduced to new people. It’s bad enough that I am the worst person with names (even two seconds after the words come out of their mouth), but I am incredibly shy and socially awkward around new people.

Wanting to run out of the place screaming is my first plan of action, but it wouldn’t be appropriate in a room full of industry people. Instead, I compose myself and try to make the best of an unpleasant situation.

“Steven, this is J,” says C.

“Hi, nice to meet you,” I smile as I extend my hand.

“Nice to meet you, Steven,” says J as she shakes it.

Now, I am up shit creek without a paddle. I freeze. I can’t think of anything else to say. The show? The drinks? The music? The weather? Nothing comes to mind, and my mind is a total blank.

J notices and she tries to push this conversation a little further. After a few mumbles, we look at each other and C notices how awkward everyone is.

“I really hope you don’t mind, but I have to make sure how my friend S is doing over there.” I point to a random spot behind me. “She doesn’t know anyone and I don’t want to feel as if I ditched her. Nice to meet you.” I turn around and make a run towards my friend, S.

As the night continues, people begin to leave, and the crowd thins out. I don’t see J again.

The next day, C asks me what I thought of the event and I told her it was pretty cool. She asks whether something was wrong and I tell her about my shyness.

“That makes sense,” is her reply. She doesn’t push it any further because she has me in social situations before.

What a lot of people don’t realize is there is a difference between being shy, a snob, and anti-social.

A shy person is timid or uneasy in company. They draw back from contact or familiarity with others, appearing reserved.

A snob tends to patronize, rebuff, or ignore people regarded as social or intellectual inferiors and imitate, admire, or seek association with people regarded as social or intellectual superiors.

An anti-social person shuns the society of others, and is unfriendly towards others. They’re opposed or contrary to normal social instincts or practices.

They sound similar to one another, but the differentiating circumstance between the three is one of intent.

I don’t mean to freeze, but I can’t help it. Practice doesn’t make perfect, no matter how many people I associate with on a daily basis.

Maybe I should tell people I meet about my social graces when being introduced, hand out a pamphlet that explains the differences between the three terms, or have them printed on a t-shirt.

Maybe then people would understand and stop calling me a snob or anti-social… and just start calling me stupid, instead.

7 Comments:

Blogger tornwordo said...

I freeze too. I don't get it, if I have a new class there's no problem, I guess because my role is defined. But at a social event, I stammer and clam up. Weird.

September 29, 2006 7:26 am  
Blogger Timmy said...

I dont have any of these problems, I am a social butterfly. I need a pamphlet please!

September 29, 2006 7:57 am  
Blogger Kevin said...

Sounds like my last trip.

If I feel a connection with someone -- I can fly with a conversation, or joke around. But if I don't feel an "in" into the conversation, I frequently stand there, listening, looking like I don't care (which is not the case).

September 29, 2006 9:44 am  
Blogger eric3000 said...

I think sometimes people think I'm a snob too because I try to avoid social situations. I can never think of anything to say. I pretend that it's just because I'm so boring but I don't think that's it. I read a book called "What do I say next" but it didn't really help. But don't worry too much; I think people understand shyness and don't automatically assume you are a snob.

September 29, 2006 2:48 pm  
Blogger Steven said...

Torn: I think you may have hit it on the head; it's about playing a role, per se.

Indy: Well, good for you (not for me). Oh, and the pamphlets are at Kinkos.

Six: Sometimes I'd rather sit back, watch and listen than participate.

Eric: "What do I say next" sounds too funny. Anyway, I kinda like being a loner, at times.

September 29, 2006 3:28 pm  
Anonymous stephan said...

Very funny - I am EXACTLY the same way. It's funny because all of my really good friends have the same thing to say - they all say that when they first met me they thought I was an asshole (which wasn't intentional, I'm just really shy). Still today I think people confuse my being shy for being snotty.

September 29, 2006 6:03 pm  
Anonymous Glenn said...

This piece is right on! I am the same way. I hate small talk and don't think I do it very well. My friend Pietro keeps inviting me to his parties, which are always large. I don't know anyone there, so I always say no, which frustrates him. I hate those situations.

October 05, 2006 12:17 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home