11 October 2011

first impressions (again)

I think we’ve established that I do things that don’t make a ton of sense. Also, we know by now that things that shouldn’t make people uncomfortable make me uncomfortable.

Last week was fall break, which means that everyone sort of split off and did some exploring around Europe. As previously mentioned, I went to Berlin then London. I had fun. I have no problem saying so.

But, for some reason, when someone who I haven’t seen for a while asks me how my break was, I panic. I guess part of it can be traced back to this post, which is alarming in its implications of how little I’ve grown since third grade.

Also, part of that discomfort could stem from my tendency to let other people dominate the conversation and only contribute when necessary (usually in the form of a snarky comment). So when all the focus is put on me, I don’t know what to do, or how long it is acceptable to talk uninterrupted. Plus, I don’t know if the other person actually cares about the minutiae of my trip or the details I tend to notice. Do other people care about bricks? Does anyone else find the way people walk in train stations fascinating?

I always feel like I’m boring the other person, so I usually end up mumbling something along the lines of “It was so much fun, except I got sick. But how was yours?” then listen while they recount their trip. Maybe it’s cynical of me, but when I talk I feel like the other person isn’t really listening, but is just waiting for a break so they can talk. Someone once told me that the key to getting another person to like you is to let that person talk about himself.

Another thing I never look forward to after a break is the first day back. I know it sounds stupid, but after being separated from other people for a while, I feel pressured to make a good first impression again, even though they already know me and nothing about me has really changed. I’ve learned that dressing for other people usually ends with me wearing something that feels like a costume, but my logic takes a backseat to my need to remind people that I still exist. Luckily, I was feeling terrible yesterday, so I saw no problem wearing a sweater that looks like a blanket on the first day back. Besides, the tissue rash on my face was doing me no favors.

I figured that if I looked as miserable as I felt, people would stay away for fear of infection. Crisis averted.


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