Monday, December 5, 2016

Lurking

Lurking (verb)

1.    When I want to talk to somebody but I am too nervous, so I walk around their general vicinity over and over again trying to look like I'm doing something else as I attempt to get the courage up to speak to them

Lurking has been a perpetual habit of mine, and it's hard to notice if you're not paying attention.  I like to pride myself on especially stealthy lurking that does not draw the attention of the subject.

This is an accurate visual of me considering speaking and then deciding against it.

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The problem with lurking is that it almost never results in me gathering the courage to speak to the subject.  Normally I lurk for two minutes or so, feel self-conscious and decide not to talk to them after all.

Not only am I already nervous to talk to the subject, but now I feel like I've already failed because I am totally aware I am lurking and not really getting the job done.  This weakens my self-esteem and causes longer periods of lurking.  It's really a cycle.

Eventually I'll give up and chastise myself for not doing a task as simple as talking to someone.

This is a problem because I can't talk to certain teachers because I get nervous and then I don't get my questions answered.  It's also a problem because I can't talk to some people at school even though really want to.  Gosh golly, I'm limiting myself!

Playing it cool:

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Why is it hard for me to talk to people?

Well in the specific case I am thinking of, I believe the primary reason I get nervous speaking to the subject is that I care a lot about what they think of me and I don't want to seem like a complete fool in front of them.

But is it more foolish to talk to them, or to lurk around them for awhile before abandoning your goal?  Probably it's actually the latter!  And yet lurk I do!

I think I get nervous about talking to people because I don't want to seem like an idiot and I'm too wrapped up in my own thoughts.

It would do for me (and other people who want to have normal conversations) to remember that it's not all about you.  People are usually thinking about themselves more than they are thinking about you, especially if they are shy people (like me).

Come to think of it, I rarely judge other people as they're speaking to me because I am too busy thinking about what I'm doing and what they are thinking about me.

Newsflash, Nimrodel: not everyone is thinking about you all the time!

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Bloons Wiki - Wikia

I am going to embark on a social experiment tomorrow and report my findings to you tomorrow.  I'm going to think less about myself and I'm going to attempt to speak to a person I've been trying to speak with and failing at.  I'll let you know how it goes.

For now, we'll call the person Barnaby for no reason.  I just like the name.

Wow, even now my hyper-awareness of myself is preventing me from publishing this!  Nimrodel, people are going to read this letter-to-self for maybe five minutes of their day and then move on.  Not everyone is constantly judging you!  Lighten up...!

The other reason I have a hard time talking to some people is that the awkward experiences in the past trying to talk to people have really piled up and sort of scarred me.  We all know that feeling when you have to say someone's name maybe ten times before they actually notice you and you've just been standing around for what seems like forever just repeating their name.

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Or when the other person is the awkward one (sometimes it's not always my fault!) and they can't hold a conversation.

Basically these bad experiences have piled up and it's always pretty dreadful.

Well if you've made it to the end of this letter I wrote primarily to force myself to speak to Barnaby tomorrow (so y'all can hold me accountable), congratulations.  You get some digital brownies.  Yum!

Am I the only one that practices lurking?   I know I'm not the only person who has a hard time talking to people.  Do you guys have a hard time too?  How do you get over it?  Do you??

Happy Monday everyone :)

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12 comments:

  1. Good luck talking to Barnaby! Heaven knows I've had my fair share of aborted conversation attempts. My years spent doing half-days at public school largely consisted of me lurking, considering joining a conversation, and either opting out or getting shut down by people's awkward reactions. 0_0
    Now if I ever went to a high school reunion years down the road, I would remember all those kids and know them decently well, but they probably wouldn't know me at all. Maybe a few would remember that tall, dark-clad homeschool loner whom they totally missed the chance to befriend.... XD

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    1. Thanks! Ah, I feel your pain, and it's too bad for those other kids they missed out on meeting an awesome person like yourself :D

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  2. I can't say I have had the same experience, as I don't generally want to talk to people in the first place. But when there is a question that needs to be asked, or information that I need to pass to someone, it is quite awkward, especially if they are always in a little group, or conversation with someone else. My fear stems more from not being able to get away once I have spoken, or making a graceless exit. And then I lurk. And lurk. And lurk. And follow them out of the room, and pounce on them in a dark corner, slamming them into the wall saying "I NEED TO KNOW WHAT TIME THAT THING IS!!!!" or something like that. I actually have no decent advice to give other than....try to walk up to people in such a way that they see you coming. That makes it less awkward. I am short and quiet, and so I often tap someone on the shoulder politely only to find that they had no idea I was anywhere near.

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    1. Ooh, that's good advice! I have the same problem because I too am really short. Plus the person I need to speak to is pretty tall so it's hard to get their attention. I'll try your idea :)

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    2. Oh, and as for saying people's names repeatedly, I have made a game out of that. I like to enjoy my invisibility as much as possible, so sometimes I stare at a person and say their name over and over again at varying degrees of loudness, to see how long I can go before they hear me.

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  3. Wow, I must lurk a lot. Don't worry, Nimrodel! I'm a lurker too(oh that is so fun to say! Lurker. LURKER. Lurker...)! But what you said about lurking being the more foolish thing is too true. I never thought about it that way... thanks for the enlightenment!

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    1. Glad that helps! Thanks for your encouragement :)

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    2. Lerk ert mer! Er'm LURKING! :P Okay, I'm done being dumb now....

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  4. Yuuup. I usually just squeeze me eyes shut, chase out hypothetical scenarios, and jump into it before I have time to think. It's that intimidating talking to a stranger. ;-)

    For real though, giggling makes things less awkward. (If you're me, although this my be a very bad idea for your situation.) I just laugh at awkward handshakes and when people don't hear me and somehow it mostly works out!

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    1. Oh good idea about the hypothetical scenarios. Thanks for the tips :)

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