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Study life, study literature. Eat food. Lots of it.
Also, I use a lot of adjectives- working on that, so bear with me.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Six Degrees of Separation, Really?

When it comes to social interaction, I'm one of the more stupid pieces that the Big Guy upstairs created. I can make acquaintances easily, friends: not so much. Having survived high school, two years of college and a variety of classes along with countless other opportunities to socialize, I still find it difficult to walk up to a complete stranger and start a conversation. The idea of being alone at a party without a lot of friends, with relatively unknown strangers, scares the unmentionable out of me.

So when I see all these suave people who seem to be born with the innate skill to initiate conversations, acquaintances and even relationships, I feel confused? jealous? Out of place? Lets just settle on confused for now. At every occasion, I inevitably come across at least one or two of these characters, and I have to admit that I have often observed them, hoping to pick up a trick or two. Did I learn anything useful that I'm now going to share with you? NO. If I had learnt something, I probably wouldn't be writing this post whining about it. In fact, most of my time observing them went into marveling at how easy these folks made it seem and how much of a fool I'd make of myself if I tried their words, their actions. I cannot, for the life of me, understand how its done. Do you just go up to a group of people, says "What's up?" and expect to be pulled into a conversation? Or do you go and politely introduce yourself and wait for everyone else to respond in kind? Or just listen to an ongoing conversation and pop in at the right time with an opinion of your own? Try each one of them, and still, that won't make you a master at it.

Sadly, most of the people that I'm fortunate enough to call my best friends are of the above-mentioned smooth-talker variety. This is why our opinions often differ when it comes to the best ways to spend a weekend. Their idea of fun is a night out on the town, or dressing up and letting their hair down at a party. To them, this is an opportunity to spend time with people, dance, become unnaturally happy and generally have a good time. To me, the exact same activities mean an evening full of awkward introductions, shuffling my feet pretending to dance and studying the corners of the room. Do I like this? Nope. Have I tried to change it? Tried yes, successfully no.

Then, I turned to TV and films and books to help me with my particular problem. Before you get any ideas from here, let me tell you, doesn't always work. Turns out, chemistry jokes are ice-breakers only on The Big Bang Theory, and taking inspiration from the characters on Grey's Anatomy, while entertaining, only makes you more of a lunatic. Don't get me wrong, okay? I adore both these shows, but trying to emulate socialization lessons from them in reality isn't that wise. Although, I have to admit that watching fictional characters like Raj, Leonard, Christina and April does make you feel a little better about yourself, makes your head go "God bless them, I'm not alone." Hmm, I may be beginning to see why people don't talk to me enough. Moving on, conversations about books and music do help, to an extent, but only when the person you're trying to talk to gets the reference or is familiar with the work that you mention.

So then, how have I managed to socialize at all in all this time? The best friends have all happened by pure magic, that's my only explanation for it (I love you guys, don't beat me up for this). But the others, people whom I've grown to know and love, people who I've met recently and people who I'm still in the process of meeting; I have three reasons. One- Humour (as a defence mechanism, to curb the nervousness of new meetings) works pretty well. If I'm standing with someone I don't really know well, I tend to crack some monstrosity about anything around me. More often that not, that has become a starting point for me to work with. Good jokes impress, bad jokes, for some strange reason, find even more followers. Either way, win-win! Two- Bitching (Yes, I said it and yes, it still isn't a good thing to do) is an instant mode of connection. Apparently, nothing makes two people bond better than a mutual dislike of a third person or thing. The Third reason is something that I have mentioned before: Common Interests. Especially in college, most of my friendships have grown on the shared love of a TV show, a book, food, music or the religion that we call Harry Potter. So if any of you guys who I share these loves with are reading this, Hello!

Conversations aren't entirely as difficult once you figure out how to begin them and what to base them on. As is with a lot of things, the first one is the toughest (obligatory winks) . So go out there, and say Hi to someone. In case that doesn't work, there is a comment box below. Come say Hi to me, I love shameless publicity.


  1. Replies
    1. Hehe Hi twitter/blogger wali Tabu, real wali Mansi! :D

  2. could relate to what you've written- liked it!

  3. Almost as if you took the thoughts right out of my mind! From one person-who-finds-it-difficult-to-start-a-conversation to another, very well written!

  4. Almost as if you took the thoughts right out of my mind! From one person-who-has-trouble-starting-a-conversation to another, very well written!

    1. Haha thank you so much! I'm glad I've been able to reach out to people like me.

  5. loved your post especially because i'm obsessed with the song :P

  6. How did you do this so flawlessly? It ws as if some one was reading my mind and scribbling. Exactly what i experienced after coming to Xavier's. (Yes, we are in the same college)
    And also it answered as to why we are still not friends/acquaintance even after i approached once :p anyways nive article :D i liked it ;)