Socially Awkward

Does it seem a little, well, high school to you, when people post pictures of themselves and their friends on That Certain Social Media Site? I mean, I’ve always been a little camera-shy myself, so I don’t appear in a lot of candid photos. And now, in my forties, I’ve never yet taken a selfie. I do have friends my age, and older, who definitely think it is the thing to take and post a group shot at a restaurant or when they are all glammed up ready to go out. And I’m sorry, but every time I see one of those I think high school yearbook. And not in a good way. Can we seriously get beyond behaving like a bunch of seventeen-year-olds, twenty-five years later? I guess not.

It’s also weird when you see one person who you think is really very nice, posing with a couple of other people who are really just mean. And I know, I know, this sounds a little high school of me, too. But still, it weirds me out. Evidently, the nice person doesn’t think her friends are mean people. Does that mean she’s maybe not really as nice as you think? Or that she just is able to get beyond certain behavior attributes, in a way that makes you feel small because you still die inside when you realize you have to be in the same room with those same people?

Why, yes. I am socially awkward. How did you guess?

Certain behaviors, such as catty questioning and snide assumptions, still do cause me to freeze up and shut down in the presence of certain other people. Maybe I’m such a quiet person in general, that this is not terribly obvious. Maybe it’s clear to everyone that I am passionately wishing myself elsewhere. How can I tell? And wondering about it too much makes me anxious and unhappy, so I do try not to dwell on this kind of thing too often.

Unfortunately, there are times when you are simply stuck. There you are, through no fault of your own, right on the fringes of the Bitch Clique. None of those women are going to talk to you, and so you sit there, alone, trying desperately to remember your real friends, who are nowhere in sight and can’t help you; and trying desperately not to focus on yourself and your aloneness, because that will only make you more upset and you really just want to be in that place where you know you are a good and worthwhile person, even when the people immediately around you can’t see that, and not care what they think, but there you are, and it just isn’t time to leave yet. Yes. I am too sensitive. And I don’t really think there’s much hope, anymore, that I will grow out of it.

The kind of amusing part is the assumption that prevails in Bitch Cliques; the assumption that because you are quiet, you are also blind and deaf. It would clearly be the act of a sneak and a varlet to go around telling tales on people. Still, I wonder about some friendships. I wonder if they would still exist if some of those women knew the way their very dear friends talk about them behind their backs, within the hearing of someone who doesn’t count because she doesn’t talk.

I mean, I talk about other people too. I’m not that high-minded. But I only talk about other people when I am very sure I can’t be overheard.

I know those quiet types. I’m one of them. I know how much you hear and see when you are on the outside. And I know quite a few people who should think before they open their mouths and start talking about their very dear friends.

So it’s kind of funny and sad when you see them posing in a photo on social media.

Because you are the quiet one, and you know what you’ve heard.

Love you and leave you,

Hobbie DeHoy

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