I’m not saying I’m that type that’s shadowy creepy or the type that’s inappropriately gregarious. Think of the most annoying person you can. That’s not me.
However, I am socially awkward in a nice way. I’m polite almost to a fault and would rather say nothing than to say something wrong. I wouldn’t even be married unless God hooked me up with my wife. I married her precisely because she lets me finish a sentence.
As it goes, I have hundreds if not thousands of friendly associates. I have very few, if any, friends besides my wife.
My social awkwardness is rooted in a low level of ability to develop a rapport with people. I have studied verbal communication and have practiced it most intentionally. However, there are still many challenging conversational circumstances. I’ll detail a few key ones.
First is one-on-one conversation. There are people who talk on and on about what they are interested in. When I try to speak, often they don’t allow me to finish a sentence before they pick up and take the conversation. If they allow me to say something and I try to discuss something I am interested in, they show little interest and go away. There are a few people who will talk well for a short time, but largely because I try to talk about something they are interested in.
Second are interruptions in conversation. Usually if I am talking to someone one-on-one and another person comes up and interrupts, the person I’m talking with will drop my conversation in favor of the new person. If, on the other hand, I approach two people having a conversation, even if I have something important to say to one of them, they ignore me unless I stand there for a very long time. This is a very reliable pattern. So rarely am I the favored conversation partner that I’m usually shocked into silence when it happens.
This pattern leads into the third area: group conversations. These usually take place between other people with me watching. If the conversation progresses into an area that I desire to comment on, I will usually get antsy until someone recognizes that I have something to say. Most of the time, no one does. I’ve been told that I just need to interrupt. First of all, that’s rude. Second of all, when I’ve tried it, I’m typically ignored and whoever is talking just keeps on talking as though I wasn’t trying to say something.
I don’t know why people don’t want to talk to me. It’s pretty depressing. But it has an effect on how well I am able to minister to them, minister with them, or seek ministry from them. So it puts a damper on my ability to connect with my brothers and sisters within the Body of Christ.