Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The uninvited

I am, and always have been, something of a social outcast. Ok, that’s a lie – these days I am awesome. But I think people appreciate confidence and nonchalance more when you are older. That did not go down well for me at school. Not caring about getting into a clique is a sure-fire way to not get yourself deeply embedded in any cliques. Stating outright that you don’t give a fuck about people’s cliques because you are bigger than this stupid town – that’s a sure-fire way to get yourself hated. Literary humour and self-derisive satire apparently wasn’t a big hit either. But I digress.

I think in a way I have maintained an element of my outcastery in to my adult life, but it recently dawned on me that if I am left out of certain events, it is at least half my fault. That is to say, there is something I could have done about it, but did not, because of this weird sense of social convention that I stick to.

So here it is. I’m like a vampire – I have to be invited in.

I have assumed over the years that I have been looked over or left out of an event because no one outright asked me to be there. After explaining (complaining) to someone about this, I was responded to with “you know you’re always welcome, why didn’t you just come?”. Why indeed? Why didn’t I at least send a text to check?

I guess to me it seems awkward and a little bit desperate to ask someone to invite you to their thing. My enduring sense of nonchalance when it comes to whether people like me or not keeps me from doing such a thing. But in every other part of my life I am of the “if you want it to happen make it happen” persuasion. So what happened here?

Perhaps it is the great job my parents did in raising me that has enforced what I see as politeness and social norms that holds me back on this one. Or possibly the sense of being an unpopular child has lingered into adulthood and I just expect a door slammed in my face. However, I’ve grown into my skin enough to surround myself with people who like me, bad puns and all, and said doors are generally wide open.

Something to work on I guess. Self-betterment is never a bad thing. And neither is a challenge.

Do you wait to be invited? Or are you the type of person who just rocks up to someone’s house without even checking what they’re up to? And what are the social norms that hold you back if you don’t?

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