People always tell me not to worry so much about seeming awkward in social situations. Like, “oh, nobody is ever going to remember you being weird or stuttery or that time where you didn’t know what to say, or said something wrong, or mispronounced something. They’re all just as caught up with thinking about their own awkwardness that they don’t even notice you’re being weird as well.”
And then I think, that makes sense, because I do spend a lot of time worrying about how I myself come across. And it’s good to keep in mind that other people probably do the same, because I tend to forget that other people are human as well and have emotions and issues themselves. (I think this is like a reverse typical mind fallacy. Does that already exist? If it doesn’t, we could call it the atypical mind fallacy.)
But when I think about it more, I realize that I am exceedingly good at detecting when other people might feel awkward – or, rather, when other people are in situations where I would feel awkward. And I always remember that. You know, that time when you were asked something by the teacher and you didn’t know the answer and looked really shameful and started blushing furiously and tried to force some words out, but you just didn’t know which ones and you were probably thinking, “Fuck, I should know this!” Or that time you were talking to a person at a party and you heard something wrong and replied something weird; chances are, I’ll obsess about your situations just as much as I would if it’d been me in the situation. And I’ll spend hours thinking what could you have done differently to avoid this?
So now I’m wondering: Is this whole “nobody notices/remembers how awkward you are”-thing all a big lie that therapists tell to calm me down, or do I just have an especially good awkwardness memory?