Social Ineptitude

Warning: in this post I use the word "toilet".

Increasingly I'm thinking I don't have much social intelligence. I just don't know the customs of the culture, like how to act or what to say in certain situations: if you've observed me in a tricky situation, maybe on the outside I look confident, but I can tell you on the inside I'm wildly looking around to see what I should do.

My comeback to this "lost" feeling has been to use humour. Say I go to someone's house I've never been to before. We're sitting talking, and I feel nature's call. I announce "I'm going to the toilet" and leave the room in search of the loo. Now, what if I walk around for a litle while and can't find the men's room? I surely can't be expected to know, of course - in this situation I would probably sheepishly find my host and proclaim something like "I couldn't find a tree", my wife would get all embarassed and the host would show me where to find the little room.

In the above situation humour works (for me). But I've got a list of situations I've been in where I didn't have a clue what to do or say (in fact, I think saying something might actually make the situation worse). My lack of self-confidence starts coming out here:

  • you eat a meal with acquaintances and some meat isn't cooked (I chose to eat it and let my iron guts sort out the problem)

  • the toilet is in close proximity to where everyone else is, and I know I'm going to be loud (I held on till later - can't this damage my spleen or something?)

  • you're with mutual acquaintances and one of them starts crying (I stood by feeling embarrassed)

  • you're at a wedding and the ceremony is over, and you want to leave but no-one else is (we left once, and stayed on another time)

  • you go to someone's house that you've just met, and the husband kisses your wife on arrival, and I just say hello to the wife (I'm not a kissy person)

Of course there's more. I reckon I should do a course or something to learn social etiquette!

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