Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I Don't Get "Being Social"

So, I have friends and hang out with them a couple times a week.  That's really all the "social" I need, and I spend the rest of the week "recharging my batteries", as it were.

In the meantime, my mom sees me being quiet and not talking a lot and goes "are you okay?".  I typically respond by saying yes and asking her what she thought was wrong, and the response is always something along the lines of "I don't know, you just weren't talking very much.".  In day to day speech she'll be saying things to me that I don't feel really need a response, and unless I respond with one of "okay", "yeah", "uh-huh", "all right", etc., she acts like I'm not listening.

Then, on the flip-side, if I ever do start talking and participating in the conversation while we're out at dinner, making jokes and generally going with the flow of things, suddenly it's too much and my dad complains about not being able to get a word in edge-wise.  Despite the periods of silence where both myself and my mom are eating.

Make up your mind, would you?  Am I talking too much, or not enough?  I don't know.  I honestly don't know.  But if I bring up this mixed message, somehow it's my fault for not knowing, or my mom just goes silent because I'm "being argumentative".

I don't feel like speaking without really having anything to say adds anything to a conversation.  So generally I sit there and be quiet.  But apparently that's not okay.  I prefer isolation, meaningful communications, and meaningful social interaction.  I honestly don't believe I should talk just to fill the dead air.

This also manifests itself whenever my parents have a party.  If I retreat back to my room after hanging out with the guests for a while and having some food, I get accused of not being "sociable".  Well, consider that pretty much everyone my parents invite over has nothing in common with me, and the available conversation gets exhausted during the "hang out and have food" segment of the party.  After that, there's nothing left, and my presence adds nothing.  Sometimes I "solve" this by helping out with the party itself, cleaning up, assisting with the food, etc., and that's generally welcomed because it's helpful.

At the same time, I don't feel as though I should be shamed for not wanting to participate in social interaction.

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