How to Win Friends and …Nevermind

I am not very good at making friends.

Or, maybe I am and don’t know it.

Reassuring people on places like Facebook (who do not stay to talk long in person) tell me that everyone feels the way I do. They say that they like me and, no, I do not have a smell or an annoying habit or whatever.

Then, as I said, they don’t hang around.

I think, in fact, they are wrong about their assertions. -Though not about the smell. I shower and deodorize and even use girly-spritz most days.- I think I do have an annoying habit and I am a whatever.

My annoying habit is that I am socially defunct and that I kind of want to be. Whilst simultaneously envying the cluster of blonde-dyed women who have all had Botox and wear Size 4 or lower, I also …well, you see what I do. I judge. I think it even shows in my face because what’s internal becomes external for me. No, I am not a good poker player.


What I am not sure about is whether this envy/judging plays a part in my other behaviors or if I am just trying to ‘be me’ (another terrible suggestion). In this case, I refer to my discussing subjects that are more interesting than whoever is pretending to be The Bachelor or what piece of whitewashed antique barnwood Joanna Gaines is using this week.

Further, I am not sure if I eschew things like barnwood because of my fierce desire to be unique and, most definitely, not ever be classified as a typical woman; or if I really don’t like those things.

Some times I go to social functions and feel things are going well. I listen to a willing woman’s life stories and, occasionally, am able to broach a more advanced topic. More than once when this happened, my conversation partner remarked, “You’re a deep thinker.”

Deep thinker? Does that make them a shallow thinker? A not-thinker?

There I go being judgy again. I guess I just need to turn that off. Or, start watching more shows about bachelors.

Are you a social butterfly? An outcast? A ‘deep thinker?’ What do you think about The Mystery of Socializing?


I can small talk. I’ll start with my week in review:
Wednesday, January 9: “A Tree Falls in a Forest; Does the Reader Hear It?,” a post about a little stream, or maybe a metaphor.
Thursday, January 10: “Skinwalkers, XLVIII.” The End of Skinwalkers, at least on here. The story was taking way too long for everything I wanted to do, so I figured I’d stop boring everyone with it.
Friday, January 11: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congrats to a new contender, M.K.M.
Saturday, January 12: Announced the ninth Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. Write a limerick and share it!
Also, “Directions from a Druid,” in response to D. Wallace Peach‘s picture prompt.
Sunday, January 13: “Bio-Enrichment,” my flash fiction conversation for Carrot Ranch.
Monday, January 14: “Wilhelmina Winters, Seventy-Nine.”
Also, “What Do You Do All Day?” at my mothering blog.
Tuesday, January 15: Inspirational quote from a song written by Charlie Chaplin.
Wednesday, January 16: Today!

57 thoughts on “How to Win Friends and …Nevermind

  1. sweeterthannothing January 17, 2019 / 2:05 am

    I really am exactly the same… I want to want friends, I think sometimes I really do want friends until I see the other mums avidly discussing who won the most recent reality show and I quietly step to the side and carry on reading discreetly on my phone.

    I think perhaps, we need to find people more like us, who we can be judgey around, who won’t care if we don’t know who currently has the most likes on instagram.

    Slightly off topic but, what IS small talk? Really, how does one do that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens January 17, 2019 / 7:38 am

      😀 You’re like me talking in a mirror. You’ve outlined my concerns in such an accurate way.

      My husband says women small talk more than men but that men do it, too, and that he (my husband) does not like small talk. Perhaps it is ‘shallow talk.’ 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • sweeterthannothing January 18, 2019 / 1:14 am

        My partner is great at it, he can small talk like a champ and makes friends everywhere he goes. Within a month of moving into our current place, he had already advanced to the text-each-other phase of friendship with the guy who lives below us!

        I think I just don’t know enough ‘normal’ topics of conversation. A lot of the things I want to talk about seem strange to others.

        For example, one of the Harry Potter films happened to come on the T.V the other night and I turned to my partner and said “I wonder what the exchange rate between muggle and wizard money is”. I don’t know many others who would be interested in working that out with me.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chelsea Owens January 18, 2019 / 8:48 am

          Thank goodness for Google! I’ve searched that one up, mostly for purposes of wondering, “Why oh why, given the chance to make her own currency, did Rowling come up with THAT?” 😀

          Liked by 1 person

          • sweeterthannothing January 20, 2019 / 2:01 am

            The entire wizarding world was made for children, not over-analysing adults that wonder how much taxes wizards must pay in order for all students at hogwarts to have a free all you can eat buffet three times a day….

            Liked by 1 person

            • Chelsea Owens January 20, 2019 / 3:30 am

              Nah… They grow their own food. And their own cattle, apparently.

              Liked by 1 person

              • sweeterthannothing January 21, 2019 / 1:22 am

                Hippogriff pie anyone?

                Good thing Harry never stumbled into the Hogwarts abattoir while wandering around in his invisibility cloak.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Chelsea Owens January 21, 2019 / 8:22 am

                  “The other other white meat.”


  2. Bladud Fleas January 17, 2019 / 2:29 am

    Small talk is an invention to allow strangers to remain strangers without seeming hostile. There’s probably an evolutionary advantage in it.
    Some do it effortlessly but not me. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Chelsea Owens January 17, 2019 / 7:40 am


      That’s brilliant!

      Now I will be mentally repeating this definition to myself when in company. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • sweeterthannothing January 18, 2019 / 1:19 am

      Fun fact! Gossiping about each other IS an evolutionary trait.

      Humans were ‘designed’ to live in groups of between 50 and 100 people, any more than that and we can’t personally know each and every member.

      As we started living in increasingly larger communities, we developed gossiping as a way to work out who we could and couldn’t trust to have our backs and not swindle us over the price of a goat.

      My fun facts are probably why I am unpopular and bad at small talk.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Violet Lentz January 17, 2019 / 4:14 am

    Without a mask, I am totally socially inept. I become all things to all people and rarely if ever show my real self. I don’t know if this is normal or not it just is what it is..

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chelsea Owens January 17, 2019 / 7:44 am

      I relate to that, though an ongoing need for authenticity causes a lot of what I feel and think to seep through. 🙂

      Normal? Probably. I know many ‘helpful’ sources say it’s not, but I think they’re suggesting the behavior’s not necessarily ‘healthy,’ instead.

      We all need a way to get through life and will adapt accordingly, right?


  4. GriffithsKL January 17, 2019 / 4:47 am

    I’m with you on the social stuff, but put me in a room with writers any day!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. bereavedandbeingasingleparent January 17, 2019 / 5:10 am

    Great post. I don’t know what I am. Increasingly social awkward definitely. People always seem to see me differently to my own perception. I wake up somedays dreaming of that huge social network of friends and meet-ups. But at the end of the day I have retreated into dreams of deserted islands and isolation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens January 17, 2019 / 7:47 am

      You might be more of a socially-able extrovert. 😀

      I’ve had people also express surprise that I feel I’m not popular because I talkto everyone. That has a lot more to do with a belief that I CAN than that I feel accepted. :/

      Liked by 1 person

      • Chelsea Owens January 17, 2019 / 8:30 am

        Gah! I meant to say ‘introvert.’ 🙂


  6. cricketmuse January 17, 2019 / 6:42 am

    A consideration is whether it is necessary to be socially adept. I like my gregarious hermit status. I can be social when needed, but prefer my happy little quiet corner of life. Do you want to be a size 4 blonde?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. D. Wallace Peach January 17, 2019 / 7:44 am

    Hmm. I think I can only answer your question as “then” and “now.” Then, in my younger years, I was socially awkward and always felt “misplaced” – in every sense of the word. I wanted to be one of those Bachelor-loving flouncy girls who knew all about the latest fashion and loved to shop. But it wasn’t me, AT ALL and therefore it never felt comfortable. I was a trapezoid trying to fit into a round hole. Then, with age and time… I just stopped caring about all that and accepted me as I am – a bit of a recluse, but someone who enjoys enriching (deep) conversation, a woman who couldn’t care less about the Bachelor or what the Kardashians are up to, a person who doesn’t change out of her pajamas for five days and doesn’t care. 🙂 Perhaps it’s judgy, but I like to think of it as exercising my choices. There is nothing wrong with being who we are. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens January 17, 2019 / 7:53 am

      ❤ Thanks, D. These misfit feelings DO get better with age. I’ve noticed the evolution is tied to hormones calming down, for me AND peers. 😀

      Or, maybe I’m maturing and learning after all.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. howikilledbetty January 17, 2019 / 8:07 am

    Oh my goodness!! You’ve just described me!! I’m so sorry, but I too have a tendency to be a bit of a judger …. arghhh! There, I’ve said it. Although, I have to say, I am fairly convinced that everyone judges, it’s just that we are brave enough, or daft enough to admit it. One thing that I have found though which has rather thrown me a bit, is that the happier I am, the less I judge. So at the moment I’ve got a load of really exciting, interesting stuff going on and have as a consequence of this, been having to meet masses of new people. And instead of being my usual judgy person, I’ve totally embraced it. I’ve spent hours talking to them. Chatting, being silly, having fun and opening up. They clearly think I’m slightly unhinged because the happier I am, the more excitable I become; and I’ve been quite excitable of late. I do have to keep reminding myself to calm down. But of course in a group of 15 or so other women there’s always going to be some who one doesn’t really ‘gel’ with, so I’ve just sort of found others to chat to instead. Previously I’d have been thinking pretty awful thoughts. I’m absolutely certain that for me (you’re definitely more sane than me so this is probably completely different for you), but for me, if I am happy in my life then I don’t judge negatively. Ultimately, and I’m really ashamed to admit this, but I think my judgements were because I was jealous … just a teensy, little bit. Ok quite a lot. No wonder for so many years I was such a loner, I probably wasn’t very nice to be around. I was desperately unhappy, and angry and hurt and frankly I hated everyone. Gosh, I feel so much better having gotten that off my chest. Forgive me, I think I’ve just had a bit of a moment … I might even have to blog about it! You’ve inspired me! You superstar!! Anyway, I don’t see you as unhappy and I absolutely bet that you’re not as judgemental as I was …. you’re just too darn nice. Thank you so much for this post … I feel sooooo much better!!!

    As for small talk, it’s dull and superficial, however it’s a very useful skill and if it doesn’t come naturally, it’s something that can be learnt.

    Katie xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens January 17, 2019 / 10:59 am

      Katie, you are so incredibly fabulously brilliant!! You’ve hit the nail right on the head.

      As you said, I’m sorry that you experienced this as well. 🙂 And, I find it funny that so many people assume that I am a happy person. I really don’t think I am.

      Thank you for giving me such a wonderful insight this morning. I love you! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • howikilledbetty January 18, 2019 / 12:53 am

        Awww you’re super lovely! And I just adore your honesty ❤️ xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • howikilledbetty January 18, 2019 / 3:03 am

        Ps. I hope it’s ok but I just put a link onto your post from my blog this morning? Just realised that I should have asked first …. arghhhh! Hope it’s ok, I can always take it out. Your post just really made sense to me … I loved it. Xxx

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chelsea Owens January 18, 2019 / 8:49 am

          I suppose I’ll overlook your …erm.. bloggin faux pas THIS time.. 😀

          Seriously -I write publicly, knowing anyone can read it.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Peregrine Arc January 17, 2019 / 6:38 pm

    Something I find helpful: “Fake it until you make it” and my own reminder “We are all children of God.”

    I’ve met more introverts as I’ve been older, and professional ones at that. One shared she developed a set of cards or questions to break out at social functions when conversations lag. Myself I know enough ASL to pretend I’m deaf. It’s very tempting at times…😉😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peregrine Arc January 17, 2019 / 6:40 pm

      *as I’ve grown older
      *I’m not sure the cards were a physical thing…. They may have been. I can’t remember.

      Liked by 1 person

        • sweeterthannothing January 20, 2019 / 2:10 am

          On my first date with my current partner, I looked up great first date questions the day before and kept the tab open on my phone, I was worried he’d think I was crazy but it turns out he was a little shy and was just grateful I had something to fill the lulls in conversation. 😀

          Liked by 2 people

          • Peregrine Arc January 20, 2019 / 6:48 am

            Nicely done. I think it’s creative and showed your thoughtful preparation. 😊

            Liked by 1 person

  10. mymindlessdrivel January 17, 2019 / 7:59 pm

    Considering I’m at home reading this rather than at an office party, maybe I’m not the right person to weigh in…

    Bottom line is that I don’t enjoy those kinds of parties, the conversation usually held at them or any of it really. When I am forced to go to one, I manage, but I’m usually bored and uncomfortable until I can find a viable reason to depart.

    I’ve learned to cope with them, but not to enjoy them. After all these years, I’ve accepted that’s just who I am.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chelsea Owens January 17, 2019 / 8:12 pm

      That sounds about right. I do occasionally enjoy a dinner party …but would have enjoyed a game night with other introverts better.


      • mymindlessdrivel January 17, 2019 / 8:14 pm

        Exactly. A gathering with a purpose other than standing around chit-chatting.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. January 21, 2019 / 4:24 pm

    Awesome post! Personally speaking… I can handle only small groups of friends. I am more of an introvert than being that of a social butterfly. Although, that small group of friends thinks I’m the social butterfly of the group. So, what does that say about them? LOL!😉 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Peregrine Arc February 19, 2019 / 8:14 pm

    I usually get the “you’re too serious” line. More so when I was younger. Nowadays I think I just plain intimidate people. When I sense a stupid, or really just an insensitive or prying question start to twinkle in someone’s eyes, I just stare. I think I’m almost daring them to be rude? I’ve only done this once or twice but it’s surprisingly effective.

    And whenever I retake the Myers Briggs, I test as farther along on the introverted spectrum. I have true hermit goals. 😉😂😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens February 19, 2019 / 10:32 pm

      😀 I ought to try the staring.

      And, cave-dwelling is bound to be all the rage soon. You’re just ahead of the curve.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. manitobamomblog April 2, 2020 / 9:39 am

    This made me smile. I too have been told – “that is deep,” and been left scratching my head. What did they mean by that, exactly?

    Anyway, I enjoy your writing style. Thank you 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Stuart Danker April 12, 2022 / 9:12 pm

    Oh wow, what a gem from years past! I am this way, and I used to hate myself for it, but now I’ve learned to accept myself, to take in stride the regular awkward conversation, and the less-than-ideal body language, and you know what? It’s not so bad after all. Anyway, thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens April 12, 2022 / 9:24 pm

      Thanks, Stuart. Sometimes I’m fine with it and other times I’m very frustrated. It’s getting better with age.


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