I grew up believing that it was important to be making eye contact with people when you talked with them, so I willed myself to do it. That’s what I observed from other people and that’s how people interacted with me, so that’s what I was determined to do. There were rules to be followed and structure to guide me. I was so adamant to not stand out or make myself appear to be different, I used to tell myself to do it while I would be talking to somebody: ‘eye contact, eye contact, eye contact.’ I’d get so focused on it that most of the time I’d forget to observe what’s going on with the rest of somebody’s face. Awkward. It felt pretty weird because sometimes I could feel the tension in my face from trying so hard to do what I thought I was supposed to do which led to what I can only imagine were some of the most intense gazes… it’s what they wanted though, right? Sometimes I wanted to blink or break eye contact, but I wasn’t sure if I should just in case that would be considered rude. It used to take a lot of effort for me to hold their gaze, but I’ve gotten better with time. It’s really unfortunate because I took so long to learn these behaviors that I thought I needed to interact with people, but now people don’t seem to want to do these things anymore. I used to wait for people to ask me questions about the things they wanted to know about me, but people don’t do that anymore because it’s considered intrusive and being in someone’s business, so I learned to talk about myself a little bit more- if I even want to talk to you, because most people aren’t worth knowing because they only like to gossip or make small talk. I used to say hello to anyone who passed me and made eye contact with me because not acknowledging you feels rude to me and I was not raised to be rude. I got burned out after awhile when it seemed like nobody appreciated my effort to be friendly and now I keep to myself a lot more than before. It’s so rude how people go out of their way to avoid eye contact with one another or say a friendly hello to each other in the street or say please and thank you when they want something, or someone does something for them. People used to ask for help a lot more too, but too many people expected something in return instead of engaging in a selfless act of kindness. There is no structure or rules anymore and it can be such a struggle to figure out. The world is just 100% more awkward than it used to be.
Hufflepuff. Unapologetically nerdy. Family and friends are my thing. My last blog post feels a little ironic because as it turns out I can juggle multiple tasks while talking to a girl I have a crush on, so I guess I can be social and still be giving my best. That’s called growth, isn’t it?