Here’s a thing. I’ve noticed as I’ve got older that I’ve a tendency to realise and acknowledge negative traits I have picked up. Is this a common phenomenon, I wonder?
There is one habit I have that I’ve been loath to confess-even to myself. But during a stroll with my [mental health nursing student/+psychology degree] daughter I ‘fessed up to one of my unappealing characteristics and it is this: On occasions, whilst out and about, I may see someone I know and go to certain lengths to avoid them.
There is no excuse for this behaviour, nor, I must admit any special reason. It is not necessarily associated with dislike, or embarrassment or the fact that I am in a hurry-a condition that is rare these days. It is not isolated to any particular person, although immediate family do not generally come in for this treatment, and certainly if they did they would be more than ready to let me know.
I am willing to wager that there are times when the subject of my evasion has not only clocked me but has also caught on to the fact that I have actioned a deliberate path of avoidance, a notion that is both uncomfortable and shaming to me! Nevertheless it is a behaviour I continue to pursue for no purpose that I can identify.
Once I’d mentioned this to my offspring she was quick to reassure me that she, too, was inclined to behave this way, which led me to wonder. Is this a family attribute?
Curious to pursue the inquiry I questioned Google and was rewarded with a plethora of websites on the subject. http://www.wikihow.com/Ignore-Someone provides a variety of methods for shunning people and http://www.succeedsocially.com/runintoacquaintance explains how to steer yourself out of conversing. Although both of these sites is a mine of advice on how to deal with the situation, neither of them makes clear the reasons why you should want to ignore someone you know. Succeedsocially does point out that it might be someone you do not have a lot to say to, but even this does not fully enlighten me.
Then I came across http://awkwardlist.com/2012/02/13/106-bumping-into-someone-you-have-as-a-friend-on-facebook-but-dont-talk-to-in-real-life/ which provided a great deal of entertaining anecdotes and potential social difficulties. I was much reassured. The whole meet-greet-small talk situation is fraught with complexity.
And I really am not like this all the time-just occasionally, when not feeling especially sociable.
So to anyone who knows me and has noticed me scuttling round the end of an aisle in the supermarket, pretending an uncharacteristic interest in plumbing parts in the window of the heating engineer’s or burrowing deeper into the pages of a newspaper in the library I can only apologise and say it isn’t you…it’s me…
This could be related to the e-mail or phone syndrome! Ever since I had to resit my Golden Hands Badge in Brownies, having failed the make a phone call test (our family did not possess a phone), I have never liked making phone calls – certainly not to officialdom, but even to friends and family. I love talking on the phone once contact is established – its’ the ‘Will they be in, are they cooking/eating dinner, going out, having sex…’
E-mail is wonderful, send a message at midnight and you know you are not disturbing anyone and you are giving them a chance to think of an excuse why they can’t come round for dinner etc!
yes-or text! But I’m more thinking of those who I know-but would be unlikely to dine with? I suppose they are acquaintances more than actual friends…
I’ve never heard of this as a phenomenon. I think it’s normal that at times we don’t feel sociable. And perhaps as we grow older, we’re more concerned about how we spend our time or energy. It does take a good deal of energy to make small talk when we don’t feel like it.:)
Not just me then? 😉