Entry 26: Social Commitment
Earlier this week, we hung a new collection of art by the Swedish-born artist, Helene Steene. On Wednesday she came over to our gallery to touch up some things, and her acquaintance and I had a little chit-chat. Turns out he works in the medical field doing clinical trials that help save people's lives. He also told me that at first he wanted to be a surgeon, but he didn't like to interact with people, so clinical trials was his way of helping others without dealing with them.
For those of you that may not know; I am not a social butterfly, or person. In high school I had a small group of friends that I would hang out with, but I was actually more like a person who floated along in their circle. In college I only hung out with my roommate, and I was fine with that little interaction. Am I anti-social? I don't think I am; I'm just more comfortable observing groups of people rather than participating and "hanging out."
One of my theatre courses in college required us to "people watch" for a homework assignment so that we could understand how individuals act naturally, unlike actors who act for the audience. To be honest, it was one of my favorite homework assignments ever, of all time. Naturally, as an introvert, I already enjoyed people watching.
Now before you think of this as stalking; it is not. Trust me. Instead of pitching into a conversation, I enjoy listening and watching how others interact and dialogue amongst each other. Their mannerisms, awkward conversations, and egos are fascinating to witness, especially when you catch someone trying to save face.
Often after work I am burnt out, so my way of relaxing and spending my free-time is to watch Netflix and YouTube videos. Currently I am finishing the last season of House, M.D., and I'm subscribed to the channel Rooster Teeth. House is an interesting series about a man who manipulates everyone around him, and the way the creators write his character is fantastic. I've also followed the crew of Rooster Teeth for nearly five years, so I've been able to understand each of their personalities since they deliver video content every day of the week.
My coworker, after learning this is how I spend my free-time, frequently uses the phrase, "you need to get out more often."
In truth, his idea of social commitment is different than mine, and so is everyone else's. Normally I would rather order pizza online just so I can avoid talking over the phone, but when the pizza-delivery person gives me my food, I'll gladly chat with him/her and give them a nice tip for their time.
I also don't communicate with friends as much as I should, mostly because I am not an instigator of conversation. But if they were to text or call me first, then I would eagerly return their calls. I have also noticed that I can go an entire day without saying a single word on my days off, if I don't interact with anyone.
What kind of social interaction do I get instead? Often I browse Facebook and Pinterest commenting on people's posts and statuses. Once a week I commit to my Blog, relaying my thoughts and personality as an outlet without the obligatory social contract. If people comment, I comment back. If no one comments, then I resume my day-to-day interaction and peruse the internet.
Forgive me if I may seem distant and anti-social, but I have to give my dearest thanks to those personalities who shoutout to others from miles away and those who are not afraid to start the discussion, because it is often those extroverted individuals who strike up a conversation with me and gladly accept my company into their lives.
Without you, I am writing to the infinite space.