Fear of awkward silence

22 08 2013

The most terrifying thing about meeting new people is the inevitable sales pitch you have to deliver for yourself, justifying your reasons for being, for doing what you do or in my case, do not do. In recent years, this is the one thing I’ve come to dread immensely.  It makes me want to crawl under the bed and stay there and never come out.  It begins innocuously, a simple question ventures out in the open, for the happy purpose of ‘breaking the ice’ and getting rid of the awkward ten second pause that follows the announcement of names.  I spend this time usually grinning like my life depended on it, and successfully scaring or scarring the poor soul stuck with me for life.  If,  I haven’t managed to drive them away then, I suppose my inherent Geek manages the job soon enough.  It can’t possibly be the fact that I speak ten thousand words per second about how the drive through Mehrauli made me feel so District 12. Nope. That can’t be it. It has to be something else.



One of my teachers in college used to call me ‘scary-looking’.  I suppose my scowling artist persona didn’t go down quite well with her but I have learnt since and worked on reducing my ‘scari-ness’. Thus, taking leaps and bounds from where I was then, I am now the smili-est person you’ll ever meet, scowls not present within a fifty mile radius.  I smile like a Cheshire act whenever I meet somebody for the first time, and I really believed it was working out well for me until someone told me that constantly smiling and being happy all the time was making me look obnoxious and would I mind toning down all the talking please, it’s getting on our nerves.  Why don’t you just sit and pipe down for once, let the sound of somebody else’s voice float about in the air.  Well, alright.



Stuck as I am, between two extremes, I find it takes a delicate balance to determine just how much talking should be done to keep the awkwardness at bay and yet allow the sound of myriad voices to bounce off the walls.  There’s nothing worse than someone talking all the time, every time. 



And that would have been fine by me, provided someone actually made the effort to pick up the slack.  But if that isn’t going to happen, for god’s sake let me talk at least we’d be free from declaring mundane inanities like,


“Oh, it’s raining.” 


“Yeah, they said it’d rain all week.”


Ho hum. A few murmurs of assent. Then, silence.



Fun, fun times.  







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