At no point in the past have I made secret my awkwardness in talking to people…
Most of what I’ve posted so far, however, is simply my awkwardness in common everyday social situations.
As you can imagine, I am even worse in situations that are awkward on their own. My least favorite of this is the hallway greeting.
To the explanation!
Hallways look like this.
They’re really long and narrow, and there’s not a whole lot going on.
On a rather normal basis, I walk down one.
On some occasions, someone else is walking the other way. Usually in a normal fashion, as opposed to the “In my own world and distracted by Jeremiah the talking Unicorn who is SOOO boring but I need to be a good friend and listen to what he has to say because he’s going through a tough time, and, c’mon, he’s a goddamn unicorn” fashion that I’m walking down the hallway in.
The important part from all that is that there’s another person…
This is normally bad enough. I’ve already been caught off guard, more often than not in my own fantasy world, and now the hallway has been turned into my gauntlet of shame as I continue to progress towards my destination.
I don’t have much of a problem with this anymore, I’m used to it. It happens a lot more than it should.
The problem is when I know the person walking the other way.
This leads to what I believe to be an unanswerable question…
WHEN THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO GREET THEM?!?
There’s always so much hallway, like it just goes on for f*ing ever, and I can see and recognize them the entire time!
If I yell from a distance, I seem weird.
And then I have to go through the entire distance where I can still see them but am to far away to actually talk to them or anything until I finally manage to make it past them.
Waiting until they’re close isn’t much of an option either… I feel incredibly awkward making eye contact over the period of time prior to the greeting. As such, I spend the entire distance trying to find something interesting to look at, whilst simultaneously throwing glances at them to try to figure out if they’re greeting me.
The obvious answer in situations like this is to just somewhere in the middle greet the person.
Two problems with this.
First of all, I’m a terrible judge of distance.
This usually leads to me still yelling at an awkward distance to someone, or to me being way to close before I greet them.
The second is that, if by random chance I do correctly gauge distance and manage to greet someone in a non-awkward fashion, I open up a whole new can of situations I’m not emotionally equipped to deal with. The big one being I don’t know how to make small talk.
I can’t figure out a solution to these problems. I’ve been told I just need to grow a pair, find some confidence, and start acting like a normal person.
This has never worked for me. To be honest, I don’t know if I’m willing to sacrifice my crazy in order to avoid these situations. Then I wouldn’t get to hang out with Jerry!
He farts rainbows.