My old friend Jordan and I used to joke that there were some people we could only hang around if there were three people. Do you ever find some relationships easy and free flowing yet others, when trying to converse are like getting water from wood? Impossible?
I'm naturally an introvert which surprises many but the definition is not how social you are, it's how you recharge your batteries in your down time. Extroverts recharge by being around people constantly. Introverts recharge a little more low key. After a weekend of events, my inner introvert emerges and I spend some time alone, at home or just with my family. It's where I am at peace.
I'm not sure what it is about me that feels the need to make everyone feel comfortable. When there are awkward silences, I feel it is my job to quip a goofy remark, just to fill the sound of the imaginary chirping birds in the room. Why is that? Others are quite comfortable with one word answers and then silence and eventually, my energy gets so low that the old expression 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em' kicks in.
When I am the person in the room that knows nobody, I walk around and find a way to fit in. This does not come easily for me but it's something I'm good at. My girlfriends and I always find it strange when others are not inviting. We are so inviting and welcoming when someone new comes to a party or is invited into our circle. It is never easy being the new person. I somehow feel it is my role to bridge any awkward silences, and it usually comes with a nervous joke at my own expense.
Laughing at myself usually seems to ease people. Yesterday, I photographed some successful and well to do women. I posed them for a group shot and there was a silence in the room.
Chirp chirp chirp.
I felt the need to let them all know I hate when people look at me and here I was, telling them all to stare straight at me and smile. This resulted in fits of laughter and I got the candid shot I was looking for.
Do people naturally take on social roles? Do some humans feel responsible for everyone and everything, including their mood and comfort level and others just naturally are not as affected?