I’ll tell you a little secret.
Sometimes, I’m kind of an idiot. Depending on who you are or how well you really know me, that may come as a surprise, because on the surface I’m sure I seem quite articulate, especially given proper time to say what I intend. But over the years I’ve found that my mind often doesn’t really function the way everybody else’s does, and I’ll miss really obvious things.
First example. In my creative writing class we’re workshop-ing short stories that everyone wrote, reading them and then reviewing them the next day of class. I’ve come to realize that I simply don’t pick up on things. Like if there is something that is hinted at in the whole story but never quite mentioned outright, or if the entire poem or story is a metaphor, most of the time I will read the whole thing and not be able to tell anyone anything other than what was on the page. There was a poem that was a run-on sentence with line breaks every two or three words, and I read it like that. I didn’t even realize the words connected until I heard the poem read out loud.
Another thing is that I cannot pick up how somebody is feeling when I am texting them. I realize we’re all a bit like that because we read body language unconsciously, but I think I am especially prone to this. I’ve said the wrong thing far too many times in response to something I didn’t quite ‘catch’. I often find I’m at a loss for words when I’m caught in a serious conversation, and sometimes I’ll just give up and drop things altogether. This holds especially true for arguments.
Speaking of arguments, when I know I’m in the right and I’m planning on a confrontation, I’m sure I’m no different when I say I plan how the conversation will go and what exactly I’ll say. I take mental notes of all the reasons why I’m right, and when I’m satisfied I’ll move on until that day comes. Except, when it does, I will remember absolutely nothing and basically flounder like an idiot until I move on in acquiescence of their view of things, even when my heart knows that they just don’t get it. I’ve recently realized that this particular problem is specifically regarding arguments I have with those I consider having more authority than me. Siblings, parents, bosses, teachers, you name it. Anyone lower on the social ladder I have no problem with.
Lastly, I do not make friends. If I remember correctly, I haven’t “accidentally” made a friend since middle school. Pretty much everyone I’ve met in high school onward I’ve had to make conscious decisions to be extra friendly to them. On several occasions I’ve had to say “Okay, Kollin, today after class you’re going to go up to them and make conversation and try to talk for a long time, then do it the next day and so on until they expect it of you”. Most often, what actually happens is that I go up to them after class and awkwardly ask if I can hang out with them today. They always say yes, of course, but I’ll be kicking myself days later for how blatant I was.
And all that, in short, is why I don’t have any friends. I’m extremely introverted, to the point where when somebody friend requests me I have an existential crisis because I don’t want to accept it but I feel obligated to if they see me often enough. Most often I decide to accept it, then delete them a month later. A ‘trial version’, if you will. I get along with people as well as the next person, sure, but I’m bad at small talk and I hate it with a passion.
So if you’re on the outskirts of my circle of acquaintanceship, I apologize. That’s the most uncomfortable area anyone can be in for me, and I try to brush people out if they don’t naturally push themselves in. If you did make it, I don’t know whether to congratulate you or apologize again for how broken I am. So good job. Sorry.