Some people are brilliant conversationalists. They know exactly what to say when they meet new people, and always know how to keep a conversation flowing, even with people they already know (and have conceivably exhausted the get-to-know-you topics).
I am not one of these people. I don’t often enjoy meeting new people because I can never think of what to talk to them about. When it comes to a lull in the conversation with friends I feel awkward and unsure about what happens next. (Of course, there are some friends with whom you can easily sit in silence with and it’s not awkward at all, but that’s a special kind of friendship.)
I found myself wondering if other people have picked up on my awkwardness and therefore find it harder to be friends with me or to talk to me. Am I missing out on social opportunities because of my awkwardness? Am I lowered on friends’ preference lists? But I was reminded of something that I learnt in a college Ministry and Mission class. If you want a friend, be a friend.
And as I chatted with J about this topic I remembered a conversations with a friend where she expressed similar feelings of awkwardness in conversations, but I don’t remember ever thinking that she was an awkward person, or feeling uncomfortable talking to her. So maybe my awkwardness is just something I feel and not something others see. Or maybe we’re all a little bit awkward in conversational lulls and blame ourselves, without realising that the other person may be feeling the same way.
But even so, I would like to work on my conversation skills, to not feel awkward or make others feel awkward. And I think this will mean taking more opportunities to talk to people. If you want a friend, be a friend. I hope I can make some more friends in the process.