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?!