The Art of Laughter or How Awkward Will Prevail

A little about me: I’m awkward, shy and often say stupid things when I’m nervous or around people I don’t know well. I’m sure there are more people afflicted with this type of, in my opinion, social anxiety. But I think I take it to a whole new level sometimes.

A little more about me: I just started a new job because the place that I was working before shut down due to “budget concerns” or some such nonsense. Anyway, I’m ending my second week at the new place and like it a great deal. Everyone that I’ve met is pleasant and in some cases incredibly nice. Even the owners are super nice and personable.

Several of my coworkers or related (there’s a husband and wife duo and a mother and son, as well as several groups of friends that know one another outside of work). This makes me feel more awkward than usual. Everyone is laughing and joking together most of the day but I feel like I’m missing the joke.

I laugh with my coworkers and we all make jokes that I understand, but as with many people who know each other well, they’ve got a lot of inside jokes and comments that go over my head entirely. So I choose to ignore them. What else can I do?

During a few conversations during lunch and while working we’ve been joking and I have said something that either sounded better in my head, or just didn’t come out right. I instantly know I shouldn’t have said that, and then I dwell. I roll it over and over in my head and create intense anxiety. Saying the right things is not always easy, especially in a new group of people.

I really like my coworkers but find myself feeling more and more awkward. I feel at ease in the work that I do, since I’m already getting compliments on how quick I’ve learned and how much faster I’m going, but I feel ever more uncomfortable socially with the majority of the people I work with. There’s really only one person that I can say I’m not anxious around, and she’s my boss.

So, how does all this play into my “Right Speech” goals this month? Well, first and foremost, I’ve become more introverted amongst my coworkers and unless I have to or unless there’s something funny that I want to say, I find myself not talking at all. I guess there’s a way to make sure nothing bad falls out… just don’t talk. But I’m often very chatty and I really enjoy conversing with others, so this feels inauthentic and still kind of stresses me out. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t.

Ultimately, I’ve relegated myself to the fact that I’m going to say stupid things that don’t go over well and I’ll likely continue to be ever increasingly awkward. This is just something I must live with I suppose. Such is life. 🙂

(http://www.toothpastefordinner.com/041302/awkward-twins.gif)

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~ by wendemachete on May 18, 2012.

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