You’ve never heard of my hometown and I know nothing about yours. Our majors are like foreign languages to each other. We might have a hobby or an interest in common, but it’s probably not going to inspire long in-depth conversation. You will, at best, make me chuckle lightly or do that laugh-like thing where I blow air out of my nose. I will smile at you, but in my head I am giving you major side-eye and wondering how to stop talking to you without seeming rude. The next time I see you, I will give you a high-pitched “Heeyyyy!” and maybe one of those fake hugs where you try to touch the other person as little as possible. Because now you have fallen into my least-favorite of relationship-zones. You are an
I hate acquaintance-ships. I hate the superficiality and the asking “How have you been” when I don’t actually give a shit. I will feign sympathy if something unfortunate has happened, or tell you how awesome x-really-cool-thing-that-happened-to-you is, but…again, I just want to get out of there. It’s not really anything you did; I just don’t know you well enough to really want to have conversations with you.
The problem, though, is this is a bit of a cyclical problem. I find acquaintance-ships to be so generally awkward that it’s hard for me to put enough time/effort into them for them to blossom into friendships. And it’s not that I don’t like having friends–I love my friends! They are the most important people in my life, always have been. They put up with all my crazy and I ❤ them for it. They’re also generally pretty great people. But like, I know that other people out there in the world are also probably pretty great, and that I might like to be friends with them. It’s just, this whole making-friends process…
If I could skip the painful small talk and introductory conversation associated with meeting new people and transition directly to comfortable repartee, I would make that happen. If there was a cerebro-type machine that plugged into your forehead and installed a fundamental understanding of every human being on the planet so I never had to meet another person, could know everyone on earth, could merge with the vast collective human spirit, I would purchase this machine obviously.” — Brad Pike, Thought Catalog
Getting to know someone is generally something I abhor. Before Princeton, it’s not something I ever really had to do. I’ve gotten a little better at it since being here, but it still just makes me uncomfortable somehow. It’s easier in a college environment, I guess, where you’re around persons X, Y, and Z so often that you can kind of get to know them without a lot of the introductory awkwardness. But my days in this blissful environment are numbered. And out there is the real world, man, where people just have to move to new places and get to know people. So, like Brad, I am going to suffer through this awkwardness so I don’t become a …plant lady, I suppose (I don’t really do cats pets). Soon this, too, will be me:
“In the end, meeting new people will improve my social skills and probably my overall humanity as well though I will hate every moment of it the way Voldemort hates love notes and birthday parties. It will be a harsh painful exercise, but I’ll get through it somehow. I have to get through it. From now on, the only people in my life will be new people.” Brad Pike, Thought Catalog