I Have Social Skills, I Swear

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My best friend thinks I’m socially retarded.

Hahaha. It’s okay, because she’s socially retarded too – even more so. And she should know. In a few months she’s graduating with a Master’s degree in social psychology.

Okay, so I do kind of resent that claim. I think the correct term would be “introverted” with a little bit of “apathy” and “general aversion to most popular culture”. That last thing hinders my opportunities to jump into conversations about country music and The X-Factor…or at least with people who like country music and The X-Factor.

I also tend to over-intellectualize lay conversation – by, for example, using phrases such as “over-intellectualize” and “lay-conversation”. Another example from a month or so ago was regarding an increase in bus fare. Since I commute by bus about ten percent of the time (the other 90% by foot because I don’t drive, which also excludes me from common conversations about all the accidents people get into) I could relate to this. Bus fare increased by five cents this year, but previous tickets are still valid if combined with a nickel. I joked about how loudly our pockets would jingle if we needed nickels handy at all times – by comparing it to how the nouveaux-riche, in early capitalism, would ensure the rattling of coins in their pockets was audible as they walked to show off their wealth. Blank stares followed. What, is no one up on 18th century European history anymore?

I swear, I don’t try to be a snob. My mind works in ways that other people don’t understand (mostly by choice, although the numbers thing may be lost on those with different aptitudes) and I accept that. Emotional intelligence is something I strive towards, so I want to sincerely understand and relate to other people, as well as be relatable to them.

But my efforts fall short of watching Dancing With the Stars. I can’t. I just can’t.

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