Social Skills? What Social Skills?

I suck at talking to people.

(And I know all of you do, too.)

I can write a poem in under 30 seconds, write an +A research paper in one night (I’ve actually done this before, but that’s another story), and I’ll pen a kick-ass novel in the summer before my freshman year, but give me an opening for a conversion with a cool guy/girl, and I’ll run away screaming. (Side note: was that a run-on sentence? Seems like it. If it is, give me a break. It’s been a long day.)

Also, what’s up with my ears deciding to go deaf if important people start talking to me?

Cute Guy I’ve Been Staring At For 3 Months: Do you sdno fgh ajvncwh?

Hyperventilating-on-the-Inside, Shocked Me: What?

Patient, Wonderful Samaritan of a Boy: Do you have dah ajvncwh?

Struggling-to-not-be-Deaf-in-the-One-Moment-That-Matters-Dammit Me: (smiles awkwardly) What?

Guy Who’s Getting Tired of My Shit: Do you have the nousses?

Sad, Helpless Me: (nods and laughs, hoping this in some way tricks him into thinking I had the slightest clue about what he said)

Confused Boy Who Will Now Forever Avoid Speaking to Me: (awkwardly waits for some other response because my attempt obviously wasn’t enough)

Embarrassed, Flustered Me: (runs out of the classroom sobbing, buys a plane ticket to Canada, and changes my name to Seraphina Pyroclastic)

Disclaimer: The above situation may have been dramatized.

Look, just because my future career is completely built around the written English language, doesn’t mean I’ve mastered the spoken word. Plus, if you go down the path of writing and expect to become more socially skilled, I’d say your delusional.

Being an author isn’t exactly the most extroverted job.

We sit at home, write books, and send them to (if your lucky) a literary agent via email. There’s not a lot of going out and talking to people unless you dabble in writer’s conferences or have a big enough following to have book tours and signings.

“But, Sarah! Authors write amazing dialogue in their books! Doesn’t that help their conversational skills a lot?”

No, not at all. Here’s why.

When you write dialogue, not only do you

  • a. have time to think about what you say,

but you also

  • b. control BOTH sides of the conversation.

So, not only is it a lot like texting, which allows you time to think about what you say before you say it, but it also completely eliminates any fear that would be involved in a real conversation. You can’t be afraid of messing up, because you’re the one deciding whether or not something is embarrassing and if anyone will even say it in the first place. Dialogue in books is not like real-life conversations.

Dialogue is simply an author talking to themselves.

This is, ladies and gents, why you may love the dialogue someone writes, yet meet them in person and experience the most painfully awkward conversation in all of human history.

This is why writing speeches and giving speeches are two different skills.

This is why I suck at talking to people.

“Perhaps, the only one who really despises you is yourself.” –Penny Belle, Insert Name Here

Advertisements