What Do You Do When You Don’t Play Well With Others?

A question I ask myself often.

This is me.

child-play2

Well, not me EXACTLY, but you get the idea.  It’s not that I don’t play well with others, it’s just that I don’t…well…DO well with others.  I just don’t GET people.  Remember this?  Innate shyness and socially challenged is definitely part of my genetic makeup.  From where, I’m not really sure, as the rest of my siblings are pretty good at the whole blahblahblah thing.  I bring this up now for a couple of reasons.

I’m currently following the adventures of Stephanie as she gets ready to take on Part Two of her #marathonpalooza madness.  As she globe-trots from Orlando to Chicago to Orlando to Quantico to Orlando to NYC, back to Orlando for the Wine and Dine, and finally closing out the year with the Space Coast Marathon, I wonder first, how the HELL is she going to survive the insanity, and second, how would I handle going all those places and NOT KNOWING NARY A SOUL.  I can tell you.

Now where's my blankie?

Now where’s my blankie?

The second reason this popped out of my game show dollar machine brain is this: my torture master massage therapist Janet was telling me about this running group she ran into (pun intended) purely by accident a few weeks ago.  Hash House Harriers, an international running group, seems to have made its way to my area.  “Drinkers with a running problem” is their tagline, (how could you not love that?), and a group I could possible relate to.  Except for one little bitty problem.  GROUP.  E-GADS, how I hate that word.

scared Jerry

Aaaagggghhhhh!!!!

Now let there be no mistake.  I’ll talk to just about anyone after a little liquid courage is involved, but that’s not always conducive at the starting line.  Or the finish line if you think about it.  As much as I try, I just don’t have that innate ability to strike up a conversation with another living, breathing human being.  Now put a pooch in my path, and I’ll yak to them all day long.  But put good ol’ homo sapiens in my path, and I put on my best clam imitation.

Who me?  Noooo, you couldn't be talking to ME?

Who me? Noooo, you couldn’t be talking to me!

I really don’t know what the point is that I’m trying to make, except to say, how the heck do you DO it?  How does one strike up a conversation with a perfect stranger and not have them look at you like you’re a complete idiot?  Okay, idiot factor aside here, I constantly wonder at people’s ability to do just that.  I have heard the most hilarious conversations started in of all places, the mile long lines for those god-awful porta-potties at the start of the Wine and Dine every year.  But if you think about it, what better place to hit it off with complete strangers than standing in line, trying not pee your drawers, and actually TALKING about it??  Some places just incite the no shame rule.

Yes, you actually can Google Portapotties at Disney races and get boatloads of pictures.  Disturbing to say the least.

Yes, you actually can Google Portapotties at Disney races and get boatloads of pictures. Disturbing to say the least.

So I guess the best advice I can give myself – and you – is next time we find ourselves flying solo at a race, just hang out in the bathroom lines.  Guess you’ll never know who you may run into.  Hey, Kara and Shalane have to go at some point, don’t they???

karaandshalane

Hi ladies!

 

Enjoy the ride.

Ever find yourself  holding back from joining a group because you’re just too shy?  Did you do anything about it?  Were you glad you did or did you feel like a total schmuck the entire time?

You Probably Wouldn’t Believe It…

…but this is me.  Really.

You don't see me...

You don’t see me…

I remember as a little kid, hiding behind my parent’s legs whenever we’d meet someone new.  Growing up, people always thought I was being rude, when really I was just terrified.  In epic proportions.

SO true!

SO true!

It has always bothered me that I was so misunderstood and it’s a character trait I still battle with to this day.  Especially when this is the REAL me.

The real me.

The real me.

Most people who know me would never believe the internal battle I go through when in social situations.  Two of my dearest friends, Darla and Cristina, are my heroes when it comes to the gift of gab.  They’ll talk to anybody about anything and sound interesting from start to finish.  How the heck do they do that???

shocked

You want me to WHAT?!

This whole idea came up as I was reading this post from Back At Square Zero today.  A few bloggers/social media queens got together for a Tweet-Up at the recent New Orleans Rock’N’Roll race.  Abby’s recap of the event made it sound nothing short of amazing, at least to this Queen of the Socially Awkward.  What?  Actually go up to someone I’ve never met in person and SPEAK to them??!!  HUH?????

shy5

Social Dork, party of one?

Some people set their sights on becoming President, winning an Olympic gold medal, or becoming Ambassador to Zimbabwe.  This girl, she just wants to not feel like a total groupie and find the courage to approach a complete stranger and invite them to the party going on inside my head.  Am I really asking all that much????

shy

(Dollar Alert: how do you think the conversation goes when a new fish is dumped into a tank of totally strange fish? “Hey buddy, how you doin’?  Do you prefer flakes or pellets?” )

I might have missed out on some great opportunities to meet some really cool peeps if it wasn’t for the hubby, (who thrives on social situations), pushing me into these two.  Literally.  Almost face planted right into both of them.

Real, live sweethearts.  Honest!

Real, live sweethearts. Honest!

Now, for those who know me, you’d be calling shenanigans on this whole thing.  There’s just one little flaw in your evil plan:  you KNOW me.  Remember the first couple times you met me?  Didn’t say much, did I?  Thought that red, sweaty face was due to a premature hot flash?  Not even close.  Inside I was shaking like the Wonder Mutt being told she has to wait before leaping into a body of water.

Aaaaaggggghhhhh!!!!!

Aaaaaggggghhhhh!!!!!

So as I continue on my journey to the Land of Quit Being a Dork and Just TALK to Somebody, please hang in there with me.  If, on the off-chance you actually run into me somewhere along the way, feel free to just come up to me and smack me up side the head.  Lightly.  It’ll make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to know that at least you’ve read my ramblings.  And add a margarita.  With salt.  And lime.  Complete game changer…

I've had a 'rita and I can't shut up!!!!

Help! I’ve had a ‘rita and I can’t shut up!!!!

Thank you for tolerating my dollars and hanging on for this trip through the never ending chaos inside my brain.  I’ll try to slow it down. Occasionally.  Maybe not.

Enjoy the ride.

(All photos courtesy of Pinterest.  Except the cool Miami Heat pics.  Those are all mine. :))

Do you find it difficult to start up a conversation with someone you “stalk” online?  How do you handle social situations?