Monday, August 28, 2006

geeky li'l ol' me

Have you ever found yourself feeling about 12 years old again, and just as awkward? Have you ever been in a social situation that should have been easy, and yet struggled to find your way? This happened to me last week, and it made me feel such a nong. To be more precise, the whole interaction made me feel faintly silly and staggeringly dull. How does this happen to an otherwise reasonably well-adjusted woman in her thirties? I thought I was past these kinds of feelings - where you doubt yourself socially, and wonder if anyone truly enjoys conversing with you (or is everyone secretly mouthing 'Help! She is SO boring!!' behind my back?!)

Weird. A few hours with someone who:
a) seemed to be in a ho-hum sort of mood
b) is naturally slightly reserved
c) yet is normally interesting to talk to and likeable, hence I actually care whether or not we get on together ....
.....a few hours of stilted conversation with this person, and I felt so small and pointless. And that is exactly how I felt a lot as a kid. At least, I felt like that whenever I had to interact with the 'cool' kids - you know, the ones who could talk to adults with ease, speak in public without blushing/shaking/stammering, the ones who seemed to brim with self-confidence. (Looking back, I realise a lot of their 'confidence' may have been an act, sheer bravado. But at least they had an act!)

I've been trying to shake off those old feelings of inadequacy ever since. Because although I was a self-conscious, uncertain child, I have grown into a woman who believes herself to be friendly, genuine, occasionally funny and no more boring than anyone else. Or perhaps I should clarify that most of the time, I believe this. Some days I just have to re-convince myself!

So, is it just me? Or is someone else prepared to admit to sometimes feeling nong-ish too?!


TUFFENUF said...

I think we all go through this at one time or another, no matter how old or confident we are. Probably in your line of work, you strive to make people feel at ease. Sometimes we are around people who don't interact the same, they don't care if others are comfortable. That makes us feel awkward. I have felt the "ill at ease" feeling many times, but I know from experience (because others have told me) that it really doesn't show on the outside. I have "faked confidence" many times!

Heather said...

Feeling nong is a permanent thing for me, I'd have to say.

But you are definitely not boring! Trust me!

Franny said...

Is feeling 'nong' similar to feeling like a loser? Because I feel that way all the time! I was mever cool, I never fit in with any group, so in a way, I fit in with everyone. I heard the secrets of members of all the different cliques, and trust me, none of them were as happy or as confident as they looked from the outside.

We all have times where we are the sqaure peg. But with as much as you've achieved in life (education, career, family, travels), you appear to be pretty cool to me.

Oh and thanks for your compassion too. I needed it *blush*!

jellyhead said...

Tuff, thank you for making me look at things from a kinder (to myself) perspective!

Heather, I'm glad you understand about feeling like a NONG! but I know for a fact you aren't one, so that comforts me no end.

Franny, thanks for cheering me up ("I'm cool, I'm finally cool... Franny said I'm cool!!"). Now get thee back to the important job of healing!

Remiman said...

A nong,
Australian/new Zealander:
A foolish, incompetent person.
Thanks for the new word (to me.)
Have i ever felt nong-ish?
Oh yes. too many times!
But now we're different, well at least you are ;-)

Kerri said...

Oh yes Jelly, I've felt nongish on many an occasion. I can relate so easily to those feelings you had as a child. These days I feel like I do better at the confidence thing, but there are still occasional days. I especially feel that way around people who assume you can't think for yourself. Know the type?
You are in no way nongish, believe me!
Hope your day goes well :)

Alice said...

Years ago I had a friend who was married, had 6 children who were always perfectly dressed and involved in many activities, as were the parents. Whenever my friend wrote and told me of their various activities, I felt depressed and inadequate for days afterwards. Years later I told her about this and she was horrified that I would feel this way.

I'm sure these rare times of 'nongishness' help you to have more empathy with your patients.

Zephra said...

I feel this way often. I felt this way all the time in school. I always thought it was just me (still do) because everyone else seems to have it together. I guess not.

Thanks for coming by hope to see you again. You said you came my way from Deputys' wife? Can you give me a link? I would like to say hi.

jellyhead said...

Hi Zephra, thanks for stopping by, and for making me feel less foolish (by telling me I'm not the only one who feels awkward at times!)

The link is - you're on her links. I've only been to her blog a few times actually - via Heather's blog - - a blog I visit daily!

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

"nong'ish" I've felt this way many times, but only in the company of certain I try to stay away from these people, because no matter how how I try to be (act) confident around them, I walk away feeling like an idiot. And who wants to feel like an idiot.