When searching for a roomie, it’s so easy to second-guess myself. I worry about being too awkward, too weird, and too dumb for these UCLA people. When my brother stayed during Christmas break, he confided in me the difficulties he had socializing with people in University. Besides feeling like I had finally arrived at a clearing with my brother (he showed me vulnerability), I could imagine the three of us (including my sister) in the same bubble. Growing up in a household with plentiful silence and spatial divisions (mum in the corner, me in the room, dad downstairs, brother in computer room etc), communication issues outside of the family domain shouldn’t really come as a surprise.
Thankfully, I’ve always been more of an extrovert with an easy-going temperament, and I threw myself into my friendships. These friends allowed me to develop the more out-going part of myself during my prepubescent years, which may be why I don’t have as hard a time as my brother does interacting with strangers. My brother and sister on the other hand, are naturally more introverted and quiet, and they both spent/spend more time with their hobbies than with people. Combine that with our family setting, and as my brother noted, the compulsory Sunday School sessions where people were drawn together solely based on our religion (we had nothing else in common), and the result is someone who feels irrelevant in conversations. Someone who feels like they have nothing worth sharing; a listener rather than a talker. Apparently, if you don’t talk, you’re considered a little weird. My brother’s been having to push himself to get a word or two out. He’s forced to try– what a trooper! Good family relationships are obviously important during formative years to gain the skills and confidence to deal with people in general. I think every prospective parent should take mandatory parenting classes.
Speaking of insecurity…
When I don’t really know how to behave and I feel a bit out of place, or when I don’t know how to react to a situation, like saying goodbye on the phone or on skype, or when I’m suddenly self conscious for whatever reason (like, what I’m about to say/am saying could be considered weird), my voice goes up. The cadence swoops into a gentle, ‘just kidding’ head voice. If you know me, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. My voice betrays me.