Reprogramming: Socially Stunted?


I hate to admit that I am painfully awkward in social situations.  An endearing comparison would be Bridget (Bridget Jones Diary). Don’t we all run into those awkward situations? I walk away scratching my head and saying “Why didn’t I say…” I seriously used to be good with people but all of a sudden, people started acting weird. It’s not me, it’s them! Ok, so it’s not just them…

 One day my son was invited to a sleep over and I agreed that he could go. I hadn’t realized that the child’s mom wanted to have a social visit. I got there to drop him off and she was outside waiting for me. I though to myself, this is a good time to ask her about her sons’ birthday gift. So I got out of the car for a quick greeting. As soon as I got out of the car I could smell a BBQ. She comes over to me and hands me a spritzer and tells me “we are all out back; I didn’t want you to think we weren’t here if no one answered the door.”

Okay, this is where I wanted to make a run for it. But you can’t just do stuff like that…right? So I follow her around to the back where we meet a bunch of people I do not know. They seemed nice enough. So this guy (with an overly enthusiastic look on his face) comes over to me, “Hi I am Steve! So, are you Native American?” I get that a lot.

I tell him “nope. I am 100% Mexican.” So he gives me The Look. I call it the Mexican=Illegal look. Yup, I tend to carry this chip on my shoulder. I start to feel a bit uncomfortable. so I ask him, “What are you?” This time I get the surprised look.

“Oh… no,” says the man of many expressions, “I just don’t think you look Mexican,” Almost as if that was a complement!

 Determined to make my point, I ask “Are you Irish, Swedish, Polish…Italian?”

Confused he stammers, “I have a little German”. “A little? What else?” I coax. I get a contemplative stare. “Well then, the only difference between you and me is that I know my bloodline.” (with a bit of a neck roll I leave him with a dumbfounded expression) I let the hostess know that I just received a text that I have to leave due to a non emergency…emergency.

Okay, so when I left I was no longer hungry and I think I was vaguely nauseous. I started replaying the scene in my head. Was I too harsh? Was he just trying to start up a conversation? How could I have changed this outcome without being defensive? I could have gone along with Native American; I have done that one before. I should have just made light of the question right? A joke, something like, “I am not an illegal one.” Or “Yea, I keep my sombrero and pancho in the closet so no one will find out my secret” I thought of so many more offhanded comments that I could have made and then moved on to enjoy the evening. Yep, not me! I often make the aggressive, “I’m righy, your wrong” choice. Maybe it’s my way of getting out of uncomfortable conversations.

My goal is to improve my interactions with people. I want to push through my initial negative reactions toward more positive outcomes. I can do this!

Life Is An Echo

What you send out – comes back.

What you sow – you reap.

What you give – you get.

What you see in others – exists in you. ~Pravs J


6 thoughts on “Reprogramming: Socially Stunted?

  1. I like that you are saying how you feel. No Condemnation, do not second guess yourself. Always, Always be honest with yourself and others. would you have felt authentic if you said something else just to get by with the conversation?

    • Good Question. This is what I battle with. I often choose to do as my conscience advises, but I am working at also being aware of the intention of the other person. I want to try to focus on making connections and not simply making my point. Thanks for the comment Meme!

  2. I feel awkward in situations like that, too, certainly not a “social butterfly.” Try to remember that you are wonderful, just the way you are. You don’t have to prove or disprove anything, just be you, be kind. There’s no accounting for other people’s attitudes.

    • Yea, I tend to look at situations and start over thinking things. My internal dialogue can go a bit haywire. I want to get out of my head and just “be”. Thanks for the comment!

  3. There are so many things that you can do but the first and foremost is to never second guess yourself. The person asking that type of question is a boar ( ie: pig). A boar is a male pig that has not been castrated. I suppose he got out of the line when they were dong it. I have no patience for people like that.
    The hard part is you didn’t know who he was connected to. He may have been a very good friend of the hostess. If your son is enjoying this little boys company you don’t want to ruin that with a comment to this boar.
    Stand in the space of who you are. A person like this should be told the facts. No, I am not; that should have been enough. Forget saying, I am this or no, I am not that, etc. You are apologizing to them for who you are when you do that. If you like me than like me for the person who is in front of you not becuase you, now, know my nationality.
    Mmmmm … I have experienced this so it is something I have a lot to say about.
    BUT … I think I have said enough. You can decide and do not have to, necessarily, agree.

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