In class, we read Ralph Fletcher’s Chapter 9 in A Writer’s Notebook. He encourages his reader to use sometimes use the writer’s notebook as a personal journal. “[A] place to be completely honest with yourself. But being honest with yourself isn’t easy” (p. 98).
I’ve been thinking lately about social skills – my social skills.
I don’t think I’m very good at being around other people.
I know that I get so excited around other adults that I cut people off when they are talking – hungry to share and connect.
I want to be a calm listener, not someone who never lets others get a word into the conversation.
We don’t get invited over to other family’s houses. Even when we do the inviting, we are not taken up on our offer.
We aren’t invited to parties or weddings…. anymore.
It would be easy to blame my family – we are quiet and prefer nights in.
It would make me feel less awkward to say, I don’t get to practice my social skills enough, with a family who doesn’t read cues well.
A family who doesn’t help me keep these skills honed.
But maybe that’s just an excuse. A lame one at that.
Maybe, it’s me, not them – my would be friends – who I’ve made to feel awkward in my presence.
Just maybe, I’m the one who isn’t savvy enough to sit at the cool kids’ table.
If so, have I been giving Liam awful advice for how to make friends?
Have I been leading Kieran down the wrong path in how to handle situations where he needs to know what to say or how to act?
Maybe Mea is rolling her eyes because she’s the one who “gets it” when I am clueless.
I head out each day: to work, to volunteer, to teach.
How can I be sure that I’m not missing the cues my colleagues, other parents, or my students are sending?
How can I learn what to say, what to do, how to act?
Will I forever be trapped in my world of social awkwardness?