Monday, July 18, 2016

Writing Lab: On Meeting New People

Prompt: "Do you like meeting new people, or do you prefer to hang out with people you already know?"

I'm more introverted even than most other introverts I know, so I'm generally not a fan of meeting new people. I have to have a very good reason to go out of my way, like actual loneliness because my existing relationships have ended or deteriorated for whatever reason. Otherwise, I'd far prefer continuing to develop deeper relationships with the people I already know.

I like not having to wear my "social face" around others. I like feeling like I don't have to watch my language or tiptoe around certain topics because they might offend whomever I'm talking to. I don't actually enjoy interacting with others for its own sake unless I can also be free, unedited, and unfiltered around them.

That said, the only time I even kind of like meeting new folks is when I'm doing it online. It seems to be more acceptable not to beat around the bush when it comes to telling other people whatever it is you want them to know about you. I haven't met a lot of people online that expected me to engage in small talk or tone down my real feelings about anything the way they might if we met in Meat World. They're usually in my vicinity because they saw me expressing something real about myself somewhere else anyway, so they already know what they're getting themselves into.

I like things that way, because I hate the alternative. Someone meeting me in a public setting where different rules apply, so I have to observe a million different social niceties instead of just saying and doing what comes naturally to me. They form a mental picture of who I am that inevitably turns out to be false. They become disappointed when they realize I'm not who or what they thought I would be. They try to change me because they don't like the real me. I resent it because I actually don't mind the real me. The person and I grow apart. Eventually I call it quits because I don't see the point of beating a dead horse when there are so many other people out there I could be giving my time to instead. Rinse and repeat.