March 27th, 2019


Being paradoxically social

I am often very bad at being social. I can be dense, clueless, oblivious and just generally inept about other people's social cues.

Or I can pick up the most subtle of things with the barest trace of a hint.

It all just depends, and it's hard exactly to pin down where the differences lie. Comfort and confidence is part of it, of course, but to be honest, my "worst" social "crime" is often confidently blowing past people's jokes or subtle statements and taking everything literally, so why I sometimes can pick up tiny signals towards meaning and sometimes can miss giant, blinking, neon signs is not super clear to me.

Tonight I went to the local erotica writer's group, which I love. The people there are my kind of people, and I guess that may well be what it boils down to. They're people who think in ways that at least sometimes align with mine.

Seriously, though, I managed to very nearly literally chorus something in unison with one person, acted as "interpreter" a couple of times for somebody who'd lost his voice and for whatever reasons I was picking up his gestures, and made a joke that got everybody to laugh just with an eyebrow raise and a wiggle of my foot.

It feels bizarre to be that socially competent when I know perfectly well that I'm "bad" at conventional social skills. Yet sometimes it just clicks.

(If you're curious about the eyebrows and the foot wiggle, somebody else was reading a story with a transmasculine character, and he had just been advised by a person in the know that he could try things like wearing shoes with thicker heels to seem taller in order to aid his passing. So realizing what I'd happened to wear that night, I slid my foot forward and tipped it so I could glance obviously at my own four inch thick chunky boot soles, and then looked around the room and lifted my eyebrows with a grin, and everybody there cracked up. I felt very pleased at having managed the joke so well.)

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