Please Invade My Privacy
by Andi Lutz
Yes, the first in the series!
If someone is reading this then that means I have to actually go out and talk to people, thanks for that. Other than forcing me to do what I don’t want to do this will not be just a boring weekly essay, this is me trying to change myself for the better. I’ve wrapped myself in a cocoon of solitude long enough that now I want to burst out and spread my wings to fly. Blah, blah, blah, fancy butterfly metaphor.
Here’s how this series works-
Each week I will force myself to socialize with a stranger, no matter what, I’m going to do it. I will feel awkward, my face will turn bright red, I might cry a little (sometimes I do that when I laugh or talk to someone, I think it’s really just my eyes watering but people think I’m crying, how embarrassing.) I will make the other person feel awkward and uncomfortable and run away from me. And each week I will post that fun interaction here for your enjoyment. Eventually, I hope that by doing this enough I will finally get the hang of it and be able to act like a normal human being, that’s it.
But wait, there’s more. Here’s my plan so far-
I’ll have you know that as a writer and an anti-social I am going to procrastinate the rabbit pellets out of this thing. That means I haven’t gone out to talk to a stranger yet. My plan is to Google how to start a conversation with a stranger without making them feel uncomfortable or calling the police on me. I really need tips on how to get the ball rolling, for example, maybe starting a conversation by rubbing their leg and saying “I love your pants, where did you get them?” is not such a great idea. But knowing me I would do that and not think anything of it until I replay it back to my husband.
Here’s what Google told me to do-
- stop thinking and just start talking
- ask a help question
- avoid sounding creepy or desperate by not saying things like, “I don’t have many friends — it would be great to hang out with you!”
- avoid staring
- maintain respectful body language
- make a habit of making small talk with everyone you meet
- there is no way to grow without being awkward at first
- the way to not be awkward is to not care about feeling awkward, awkwardness is a learned feeling
- just remember that this person you are talking to is a person just like you, and who cares what they think, you’ll probably never see them again (not from Google, I made it up and I personally think it’s the best)
But wait, there’s a little more. More to learn about me and why I am the way I am.
So, why am I so scared to do what everyone else can do? Growing up I wasn’t encouraged to talk, my sister and I would just sit quietly and not speak when we were around company. People would always say to my parents “Your kids are so well behaved,” they were proud of that. Now the same people would probably say of me as an adult “Is there something wrong with her?” Clearly there’s not, or at least I hope you’re getting that there isn’t a whole lot wrong with me. But for some reason when I get around other people and I am uncomfortable, which I usually always am, then I don’t know the proper way to act and will sometimes do or say something strange. And I never think before I speak, if I did that it would take too long for me to answer a question if you asked me one.
This is me, this is who I am now, but in a few months I will be a more outgoing and probably more openly annoying person. All that and more with the help of the future strangers that I corner and try not to rub their legs. God help them and my readers!
Talk to me people, feel free to contact me through social media or email and Please Invade My Privacy!
Originally published at AndiLutz.com