To most people, the best conversations are the effortless ones, where they don't have to worry about what to say because it just flows through. To awkward beings like me, that concept alone is foreign.
Replying with merely a “same” to someone wishing you good luck on your exam doesn't even affect your self-esteem anymore, neither does expressing your hatred for small talk whilst having small talk with someone. For all you know, the shackles of embarrassment can't hold you back; you've embraced the social rock bottom. Thus, here is a series of possible events that could and probably has transpired with likeminded people, further contributing to the previously mentioned resilience.
Exhibit A: You meet someone who looks familiar and make eye contact. Now, you hastily brainstorm in hopes of remembering their name. You settle for a common name – for the sake of clarity let's choose the name “Samia”. Now with the huge number of people with said name out there you assume the odds are in your favour, and hesitantly go up to the person only to receive a “No, I'm not Samia”-esque reply of shame.
Exhibit B: You go up to the person and mention how he/she looks like someone you know. Now, even though most people think it is a good conversation starter, the wrong execution can greatly harm the conversation if not ruin it altogether. So in cases of awkward people, the conversation soon fades as chances are he/she doesn't know the person you're referring to unless they're a famous figure.
Moving on to the actual small talk, your first task is to find a topic to start conversing on. Choosing the topic is crucial and thus ruining the talk with one wrong choice is even easier.
Exhibit C: You start thinking of things you have in common. You finally remember an experience you shared together and so you bring it up. To your utter dismay, he/she reminds you of how they shared a rather unpleasant experience there which you had no prior knowledge of whatsoever. By this time the conversation gets rather dull and if you're unlucky, it gets super depressing.
If by some miracle you do manage to redeem yourself some extra minutes, in comes the possibility of running out of topics.
Exhibit D: After a tangible amount of small talk, boredom strikes. You see the other person losing interest in the conversation and so you decide on finding an escape route. Be it joining a group of friends playing Monopoly with you having zero knowledge about the rules of the game to getting up on the dance floor at a party even though you're a Class A klutz with appalling hand-leg coordination, you'd do just about anything to escape.
All in all, I think I speak for all awkward beings out there when I say that socialising is hard and the required amount of effort put to be approved by social beings is simply too much to pull off. However, in the rare occasions of attempting to be social, although things may not always end up in fruitful conversations, they are sure to remain as a constant source of embarrassing yet funny stories left for you to share.
Veronica Gomes is a socially awkward sophomore. Feel free to trigger awkward encounters by reaching out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org