I recently only realised how much I dread meeting new people. I suddenly become an awkward yet withdrawn klutz, hyper aware and oblivious at the same time. I turn into a walking oxymoron. This though, is when I’m in an environment I’m not used to, with very few people I know. It’s just…stressful.

I write this with a terrible headache from one of these occurrences. I had to encounter (and interact with) someone I’m a fan of and have a slight crush on. It was horrific. I wasn’t expecting to meet said admired person you see, so my brain went straight into fright, fight and flight mode all at the same time. I became withdrawn not wanting to appear too eager, and then my responses became slightly rude in an attempt to assert myself and appear confident. I could tell my friend was confused at my behaviour and eventually asked why I was being ‘stuck up’. Stuck up?! Sigh. Perhaps subconsciously, I did judge him too quickly, thinking he’d be full of himself due to his status, hence an automatic defence wall coming up. Vicious cycle.

I’m frequently told I appear arrogant until after a conversation has ensued- then later on they say wow, I didn’t know you’d be so nice. Then there’s the countless times that I’ve met people and was completely shocked by how deceiving their looks were. I’m guilty of calling people stuck up in the past when I only just met them. We all kind of are. This is such a daily occurrence that I can confidently say… first impressions suck. I don’t even want to think of what ‘admired person’ thought of me today.

I guess human beings may have adapted to society in such a way that impressions are a time-saver for us. A quick selection process till the next stage. A sift.

I’m learning to give people the benefit of the doubt. Not to take anyone’s behaviour too personally, to be a little kinder, a little more merciful, a bit more gracious. Just not to the point that I’m acting. The world would be a nicer place to live in if we just extend ourselves a bit more to the next person, and judge less. It’s one love, you dig?

(P.S; someone please leave tips on how not to be an awkward mess without betraying one’s authenticity- just so I don’t die from one of these post-social situation headaches. save a lifeee.)