There is something that I’ve been struggling with for a few months now. You’d think that two people with the same issues would get along well. Usually this is the case, because you can identify with each other and feel understood.
What if you both have problems keeping a casual conversation going? Suddenly you end up staring at each other, both wishing for the other to come up with something good. You can both understand each other’s issues, but you can’t even voice them and you just stand there wanting to connect in some way.
This is what I’ve been going through with some people lately. Usually I’m pretty good with keeping up a conversation, but that’s when I already have something to talk about. But lately I’m meeting a lot of people who have a problem with keeping up a casual conversation and they aren’t Anime/Manga fans or help put up an event or LARP something else within my interests… What do I talk about then? This is the reason I rarely make friends outside of my interests. I can hardly keep up a casual conversation about anything else.
Usually I rely on the other a bit to come up with a good question and I’ll just go with that to try and keep the conversation going. But what if the other person has social issues too? What if the other person also relies on the other person? Then we just sort of utter short sentences and eventually end up with an awkward silence… This is a very painful situation.
At Abunai someone tapped me on my shoulder. I turned around, ready to either greet a friend or help out a visitor, just to stare at a mask. This person had a costume on with a mask with just one hole in it and he/she just stared at me… I have no idea if this person was pulling a prank, trying to get me to recognise him/her, or was socially paralyzed.
I know I was socially paralyzed though. I tried to connect by saying “Can I help you?” so that if I was supposed to know this person, he/she would maybe say who he/she was, or this person would state his/her question. But nothing. This person just stared at me. I still have no idea if this was a prank, or if this person was socially paralyzed. I ran through all the possible sentences in my head, but couldn’t come up with anything. I had nothing to give me a clue, except for that one hole, but I wasn’t about to stare someone straight in the eyes. That was impossible for me. So for me, this was just one big mask shielding me from that person. I have to admit I just said “Okaayyy…” and walked away.
I hope I didn’t offend anyone with this. If you’re this person and you’re reading this: I’m so sorry! I had no idea what to say or how to react. I’m not offended by you in any way.
If you weren’t pulling a prank, then it might be that you were as much frozen as I was. If that’s the case, then I’m sorry if I made it worse.
But this is a great example of what happens when I can’t rely on the other person to lead the conversation anymore. I may seem stand-offish and maybe even rude, but I don’t mean to. I simply freeze because I have no idea what to do, and anything I come up with just seems wrong. Freezing seems like the only option, because if I say nothing, at least I don’t say anything wrong. But freezing isn’t the right option either, I know that. I just don’t know anything better to do.