Blogging instead

So, I should be downstairs at the reception “mingling.” I used to think that I just didn’t like not knowing anyone, a fairly natural reason not to want to be at a social gathering, but now I know a fair number of people in this room, and still I hate being there. It’s a bit ironic, really. I feel like I should be down there, but I honestly don’t want to be there.

At least I went for a few minutes. I had no difficulty chatting with folks on the way there and on the way out, but I felt confined, enclosed, and confused within the room itself. This is something I’m going to need to overcome. I know this. I know that I am missing out on important opportunities because I cannot force myself to socialize. But it’s going to take a very long time before I can learn to enjoy it.

I need a personal trainer. Not to help me get in shape–wait, no, I need one of those too, make that 2 personal trainers–but to walk me through these social occasions. Jamie has been very helpful here, but this isn’t at all her crowd and it’s not fair to ask her to be my interpreter. I need someone who can teach me how to work a room. That wouldn’t stop the fight-or-flight reaction that being in a crowded room triggers, but it would give me a set of objectives to concentrate on and I would hopefully be able to make it through my current record of 15 minutes. Don’t they build simulators that can help you train for this?

And that is my neurotic post of the day.

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  1. Posted 5/24/2003 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    It’s funny. Around my own crowd I’m the center of attention. I can’t say or do enough. If all eyes aren’t on me at all times I get all but jealous.

    You put me in a room with people I’m not familiar with, or even that I know but just don’t feel so at home with (like Oneg after Shabbat services at my own temple even) and suddenly I become the epitome of demure.

    How can I be so narcissistic in one situation and so introverted in another?? The illogic would make Spocks head explode.

    If you find that simulator, I want to be the frist to know! I need it every bit as much as you do!

    And for the record, personal trainers (the fitness kind) are just plain annoying. Be happy and work with what you got. That’s my motto!

  2. Posted 5/25/2003 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Simulators for social interaction are, I think, about as likely to be effective as simulators for physical activity. They might be able to show you good form, but they’ll never substitute for the real thing.

    (Personal trainers, btw, are a ymmv thing. I found it really helpful to have someone coaching me when I started doing weight training.)

    And I’ll be happy to coach you in the fine art of working the room (and enjoying it) at AoIR in Toronto. :) I think a big part of it is having a sidekick–someone you can whisper snarky things to and laugh with.

  3. Posted 5/25/2003 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Hmm…there’s always Tony Robbins.

  4. Posted 5/25/2003 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Liz: You’re on for AIR!

    Sam: I would love to see Tony Robbins work a room :).

  5. Reo C. Salyer
    Posted 5/28/2003 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    I hope you don’t mind when (almost) entirely random people happen upon your website and respond to your bloggings. I can relate, however. I often find that I do better in a room full of people I don’t know than full of people I do. Sometimes I’m a social animal, sometimes I’m in the corner talking to the potted plant.

    I personally find palms to be the sweetest things…

    I don’t know how she does in general, but having worked with Mrs. Halavais in Seattle, I can say that she can certainly work a candle store! I watched her several times, wishing I could do it! She could talk and talk and talk to people with the nicest voice and they often had no idea she was sell to them until they walked out of the store with $100 in merchandise. But, I do so often become confused between life and retail, being so often jumbled as one in my day to day.

  6. Posted 6/2/2003 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Reo: Not at all! Most of my friends are random. And yes, Jamie is master of the room while still a geek. She is the perfect woman!

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