Ad
I am Muttering

Social Hiccups; The Flip-side of Mastering ‘Avoidance’

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr
8 min read

I was numb, clueless, I stared at my computer for a while, not remembering one thing she taught me a few seconds ago🥴. How do you teach someone something so casually and expect them to pick the baton effortlessly?🤒 Or maybe it’s not rocket science, every educated adult ought to be familiar with this, should be a shame she’s teaching me😪. Here I was, still staring keenly at the computer, questioning my cluelessness yet also trying to maintain a pose like I knew what I was doing. I played with the mouse for a while and the keyboard too, beating the letters like one of those secretaries I admire in the movies, only that no boss could break the shame by requesting for a cup of coffee at the moment🥺. 

social hiccups
I was numb, Clueless… (photo source- Business Insider)

“You know what, fuck it!”, I murmured under my breath🤨. “Rita please could you help me out with this again, I actually don’t know how to do it🥴”. I asked with a shy tone coated in shame. Rita gave me a busy and subtle nasty look yet tried to cover up by acting like it’s nothing to not know. But I can swear that deep down her mind, she screamed “OLODO! OLODO! WHY SO DUMB?!” 🧐🧐

I grew up late, not age-wise but exposure. Most of the things I saw my age mates do, I couldn’t, and rather than try whenever I found an opportunity, I always avoided it for fear of not embarrassing myself. 

social life
I grew up late, not age-wise but exposure. (Source- Quiet Revolution)

COMPUTERS

Growing up, computers topped the pyramid of the things I avoided like a plague😵. My parents are not tech-savvy people, they enjoy their simple life and only believe in providing a child with what they need. By need, I mean food, clothes, school. And these three come with no side attraction☹. For food, it’s the normal food you know, clothes, nothing extra, and tuition fees had no excursions or luxury classes included. “God When” was the most popular phrase that dominated my mind as a teenager…nah, it wasn’t me wishing for a relationship, but when I’ll finally stop getting scared of computers🤢. An icing to my fears was that everyone around me thought I knew these things because I was book smart so this made it worse that whenever an opportunity came, I got scared and would usually pull away rather than reveal a side to my unseen foolishness😒. 

Read: 5 Tech Phobias You Never Knew Existed

This was the order of my growth up until the university stage, and even after until it got to a point I couldn’t run anymore; at this point, I was already quite familiar with Microsoft Office, and locating the media software of a computer, nothing more. My worst nightmare became real when I got a job as a writer for a firm and was assigned my own computer. How people expect you to know how to use things when they haven’t seen you do so remains a mystery😟. Everyone seemed too busy to care if I knew how to use Google Docs or WordPress, and then newbies like Slack, Workable, Trello, Betrix24, which I had never heard of in my life. Christ! I was a mess. How do I confess my ignorance? 😭😭

social hiccups
Christ! I became a mess. How do I confess my ignorance?

“Oooh Doris😡😡!! I’m not sure you are fit for this job, since you got here we haven’t reached our goal😡” My line-manager made it hell for me with her unkind words. Imagine giving me a target of reporting at least six stories daily and all I could deliver was one and a half😶. Tragic. It wasn’t that I didn’t know how to write but I couldn’t multitask the browser and Microsoft app on a computer. So what I did was to browse with my phone, write on my jotter before typing with the system🥵🥵. 

Read: When You No Longer Work There

How I conquered my phobia for computers was that after depriving my eyes of plenty of tears every morning😭😭, I usually put a call across to my friend to help me every time at work. As time went on, I also mastered the art of watching; once a colleague started explaining something to me, I gave unreserved attention. At some point too, I realized there was actually no big deal in saying these; “I don’t know”, “Can you explain again?”, even for the umpteenth time. I became better at the job and started to report about eight stories daily. Now I can proudly say that I am good with the computer and also numerous software. 😄

social
Source- Women Who Hope

PUBLIC SPEAKING 

I hate the fact that workplaces are fastly taking a cue from the school system😑. As an adult, I believe I reserve the right to take up a course on my own will and most importantly talk at my will too. But No! This is not the case for workplaces at least not anymore😬. Growing up, I hated public speaking even down to the barest minimum of reading a note aloud to five people🙃. I feigned a terrible illness at the time I was supposed to defend my project for my BS.c degree, that’s how bad I hate public speaking🙄.

Read: A Quagmire is Safer with Friends Inside

Now, the workplace makes it even more infuriating because I cannot run unless I want to starve. Nothing pisses me off in a workplace (asides owing salaries🤧) than knowing that I have been assigned a course to learn on Coursera or Udemy and worst off present it in front of my colleagues. Yuck! Jeez!🤮🤮 Can the world end already?!

social hiccup
Source- SHRM

And whilst I’m talking and my colleagues keep staring at me like geckos😏…what disrespect!  The last time I checked I was employed as a writer, not a speaker😔.

Not sure I can conquer this side of me no matter the clever tips I read on google🤒, I still stutter, murder tautology a thousand times, and worse off don’t even make sense to me, let alone the others😴😴. It’s as though my head spins on a merry go round the moment I am assigned to speak. (Yes! I am that writer who speaks like an illiterate especially in public👩‍🦯👩‍🦯). 

 

HANGING OUT, DATES ( EXCLUSIVE FORK AND KNIFE AFFAIR)

 Pushing me out to dance in parties as a kid did some psychological damage that defiled my morale for attending social gatherings as an adult😔. I am a bad dancer but African brethren don’t get this truth (coconut heads🙄). I hated going to birthday parties because all the times I went, there was always a group of aunties forcing me to dance against my will☹. In the end, I come last. Pathetic. Now I hate going out because it still feels my outings have been jinxed; always a sour memory, if not from the road/bus passengers, then its the location and the events that unfold😨. 

Read: Why I Hate Mutual Friends
social life escalator
An escalator

You see escalators, whoever invented those hated me even before meeting me personally🙁. I never want to find myself having to use it; stairs all the way. My most horrid memory about it was when I went on a movie date with my ex (after much postponing😓). “Omon please let’s use the stairs, I’m scared of this shit,” I communicated my fears but he felt he got things in control (as per knight in shining armor🙄). Going up was successful, we had a nice time at the movies but coming down with the escalator was a failed gravity. My precious Zara sandals which I wore to impress suddenly got hooked somewhere at the edge😱😱, yet the escalator kept rolling as though about to devour my foot😭😭. 

Read: How we have Become Familiar Strangers to each Other

“Chai! Sorry o” “Ah fine girl, what happened now”…typical Nigerians and their love for throwing sympathies yet laughing😦. Everyone had something to say that day as they passed, meanwhile, my ex was trying so hard to hold his laughter and also making sure I didn’t lose my mind. The engineer finally came after 600 years of calling for help😭😭. He managed to get my foot off my sandals first and then unhooked my sandals with some tools. It was embarrassing😵. What made me a bit cool was him saying that I wasn’t the first and a lot of sandals and flip-flops were currently stuck inside it. Our date was ruined, to hell with this social life! 😔 all I wanted was to vanish from the mall, to hell with the chicken and chips I was promised, mama’s taste better anyway☹☹. 

How to make perfect, crispy and flavourful french fries at home

The incident made me renew my vows about not going out again😴. I still miss my innocent Zara sandals who got bruised for my sake and couldn’t walk the roads again😓😓. RIP footie, your death taught me never to dress to impress.😬

 “Ah, we should hang out sometime”“My friends are throwing a party, I’ll love you to attend”. Excuse you! Why me?🙁 Please leave me alone! Aside from the few yet memorable bad luck I’ve encountered while hanging out, I get very jittery, more like I develop anxiety disorder whenever someone says we should hang out😖. For instance, if the date is two weeks away, I begin to over reason the event, people I’m likely to meet, will anyone be talking to me when I don’t want to?🤔 Will I be able to crack my chicken bones?🤭 Ding! Dong! What on earth am I going to wear!? 🤯🤯 Thinking over and over gives me a headache and before you say jack, I’ve researched a perfect suitable lie to ensure we don’t see.🤪

social hiccup
Excuse you! Why me? Please leave me alone!

Now the flip-side is, to get more connections (networking🤝), you need to hang out more, so what do I do with my life? I resolved that I’ll start going out often but the red lines in my bank account are solely responsible for this defiance.😌

Read: Detty December! If You Must Come Along…

And then the fear of not knowing how to eat with a fork and knife… Whoop! Whoop! Perhaps we should leave this part for a future publication😂😂. I’ll keep admiring people who go out on dinner dates. Bold strokes. Let it remain wishful thinking for me, I don’t mind🤗.

The things I’ve avoided growing up are things I ended up needing to sharpen my adulthood. It feels good opening up about these pertinent three and even feels better knowing that learning has been so feasible and somewhat enjoyable😃. 

date night
I’ll keep admiring people who go out on dinner dates. Bold strokes.

How about you? Did you hit a stumbling block growing up? 🤔 Or maybe still battling some social glitches, huh? Do you feel your social life is moving by a snail speed like mine? I want to learn about those embarrassing times (social hiccups🤭) in your life and possibly how you overcame them too. And if you got nothing on you, a reaction to my own experience will be great. Leave me a comment pleaseeeee.🙋‍♀️👇👇

4.5 42 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

98 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Aji
Aji
9 days ago

Very interesting read. Reminds me of when I did my predata in uni. I had never been in a sitution to speak in public before then and this was down to the fact that I used to run away from any chance to he in such situation until I had nowhere to run to. I ended up doing it and doing it awfully. Lol. I took lots of lessons that day and the embarrassment I was dealt by the lecturers in the hall sharpened me up in that aspect and I took it by the horn when it was time… Read more »

Aji
Aji
8 days ago

😂 i wished i could just faint at that time. Or an earthquake 😃

Wana
Wana
8 days ago

😂😂 Very interesting read Doris. I can relate to almost all of it especially the going out one. I have hated going out all my life, I’d literally agree to go out and then immediately start thinking of a reason excuse as to why I can’t make it. Your escalator experience was so funny😂 but I can’t relate. I can’t imagine how embarrassed you felt. Fork and knife hmm, that particular one mehn, I can handle myself but it’s those numerous strange dishes they serve at fancy restaurants I can’t fathom😂. That’s one of my fears of going out mehn.… Read more »

Aji
Aji
8 days ago
Reply to  Wana

Typical of me! Ill plan going out then immediately start looking for reasons not to go 😂.

Collins
Collins
8 days ago

I think overcoming situations like this has to with practicing a few times, failing a few times and learning from mistakes. I used to have the same problem of speaking in public, several embarrassments later , I now feel comfortable and relaxed while speaking in public.

Aji
Aji
8 days ago
Reply to  Collins

Learning from mistakes and embarrassment worked for me 😂

Zitaaa
Zitaaa
8 days ago

I’ve always loved public speaking tho… Buh I can totally relate to being forced to dance at parties😭 I hated da shii n still hate it… I over think things a lot too… Thought it was just me😂
Buh your escalator experience? Omo! I can only imagine🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Jules Jeremiah
Jules Jeremiah
7 days ago

My dear, regarding my first escalator experience, nwanne I wore a boot o. This is because I had seen it in movies and also had series of worse case scenario thoughts, so a boot was the best worse case scenario thought I could deal with, I had to go with it. The pathetically nonsense guy I went with kept escalating upandan, he couldn’t sit still and he wouldn’t leave me be, guy was just dragging me upandan with him. What would you have had me done but comply? We were on a date😓. It wasn’t funny. Omo, I was 1000… Read more »

Ezeugo 1
Ezeugo 1
8 days ago

The thing is that we put too much thoughts into these things which will give room for scary thoughts/imaginations. When I find myself in such situations I do ask myself, “what’s the worst thing that can happen? ” , so far it wouldn’t kill me I’ll face it head on. My mum really inspired me. She wrote her waec when she already had 4 children, I was 5 years old then. She wore a school uniform, went into the classroom and wrote her exam for a month. Some people that were working under her were even invigilators in the same… Read more »

Effiong
Effiong
8 days ago

Wow! You have a rear and engaging style of expression..great work

Well, growing up for me was challenging because i couldn’t read properly in public but I’m better now. I guess it was a phase

Effiong
Effiong
8 days ago

Welcome,
Yeah taking responsibilities..
But how do you write upto 6 stories in one day?..must be really tasking, how do you know what to write?

Effiong
Effiong
8 days ago

😂🤣..I guess it made you better afterall

Stephanie Osunkwo
Stephanie Osunkwo
8 days ago

😂😂😂😂😂🤣 nah this is legit a good read… better come lez go out. I used to be worse but mine not computers shAa😛 but twas maths, I felt dumb, like this was a Subject everyone knew and said “it’s simple na just formula” like gaddimit what did they think i was using “cake or English formula”? Omooo I’ll even write a story on that soon… i need to mehn cos that made me self depressed and lost my self worth at some point. My saving grace was even right from primary school my teachers could see how keen and interested… Read more »

Obama
Obama
8 days ago

I still have some of mine, like dancing in a gathering of strange faces (unless I’m tipsy though), public speaking… This is why I never liked giving testimonies in church then. As much as I love solitude, I don’t really mind going out as long as I’m cool with the people involved. Another one is wooing a lady on the road — that can never be me. I don’t how people do it but I can’t maybe it’s the fear of rejection, maybe it’s not. Recently, I was with some ‘unfamiliar’ faces at a hangout and during T or D,… Read more »

Obama
Obama
7 days ago

🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣

All hail [the] ‘royal highness’.

Folabi Fawole
Folabi Fawole
8 days ago

Impressive!

BENJAY
BENJAY
8 days ago

😂😂😂😂.. Reading this got me reliving memories.. Especially your experience with the escalator.. Till this day, I have only used it once, I avoid it like a Plague… Hehehe.. I have seen enough funny videos to make me always choose the stairs!

Amechi
Amechi
8 days ago

Mum & aunt still say i was a good dancer growing up,but since was 8 or 9 i can count one one hand the number of time i have danced at any party .

Prime
Prime
8 days ago

This was an awesome read. A fun read. A throw back. I saw myself and could connect with every detail, especially your choice of words, emoji and funny word expressions. Your descriptions were so real with simple words, it was so Nigerian and relatable.

In addition, I was a late Bloomer, introverted with lots of social phobias. I know myself yet sometimes I see myself for the first time.

Amaka
Amaka
8 days ago

So relatable “I grew up age wise not exposure ”
That line is everything

Nuella
Nuella
8 days ago

Nice write-up! It’s the word-play for me! I was too engrossed in reading!
I’m from thw oliver twist clan, if you know what that means 😜..

My social hiccup is ‘outing’ 😩…

King
King
8 days ago

Hmmmmm. Amazing!

The truth is, you don’t like to make mistake but there is nothing wrong in making mistake and learn from it. That’s what make you a better person.

I love to try new things, I make lot’s of mistakes, I learn and I am better for it.

You see, fine and super intelligent babes like you make minimal mistakes but it will make you avoid learning new things.

But the fact is that you excellent.

Osinachi Doris
Osinachi Doris
8 days ago

I grew up in a family where we are not allowed to go out unless it’s school, church, or any family function(FAMILY)so basically,what we do is just stay indoors.So,right now the whole thing is not helping at all.I always feel scared of going to open places like market, shopping malls,dates, it’s even as bad as walking alone,I always get this feeling that people are looking at me,that my sandals might spoil or that am not dressed appropriately.I’ve declined going to so many functions I know that I will definitely gain something from all because I feel scared.I’m 22 and going… Read more »

Pelumi
Pelumi
8 days ago

What if there is no outgoing friend?

Osinachi Doris
Osinachi Doris
7 days ago

I find it very very difficult to make friends.I prefer being on my own,sleeping all day long(lol)I don’t ever get tired of doing that.

Osinachi Doris
Osinachi Doris
6 days ago

Lol

Pelumi
Pelumi
8 days ago
Reply to  Osinachi Doris

I’m also on this table. The worst thing is I don’t have friends and stay alone most times and nowadays the loneliness is getting to me. I just yearn & yearn for social connection but being broke also doesn’t help

Mimmy
Mimmy
8 days ago

Wow, I enjoyed this a lot , I can relate with the let’s go out part cuz mehn….. I really suck at it .

Seyi Vandy
Seyi Vandy
8 days ago

I think you’ve covered the interesting parts that people may not want to openly admit😂

Precious
Precious
8 days ago

Most of the points you outlined here are relatable especially the part about public speaking, damn. I’m 23 and a graduate and still get nervous whenever I’m supposed to speak to a group. Nice write up

Nnenna
Nnenna
7 days ago

This writeup, reminds me alot of my growing up, at first while young I always thought once I’m 18, I’m turning on the rollercoaster of my life, like it was gonna be so easy, never knew the experiences of my young age would affect me, I grew up being fucking SHY, like I cried at all my birthdays even my 10th birthday(wept like a widow that lost her husband, for no good reason), at my siblings birthday i would never dance( I blame my aunts and uncles, they made me feel so insecure about my weight with the FATIMA nickname),… Read more »

Ebojudah Cherish
Ebojudah Cherish
7 days ago

Girrrrrrrrrl! You just wrote me the story of my life! I can totally relate, lol, I even studied computer science to overcome my computer phobia. You see that public speaking one? Let’s not even go there 😂😂😂…I know the proper use of cutlery but I still hate dates, and hangouts and parties. I’m a terrible dancer too, but I really wished I wasn’t, countless times I’ve wanted to take dancing lessons but I’m like, I’m never gonna party anyway so I ditched the idea. I have a mild fear for escalators, but thankfully they’ve never disgraced me, I’m always so… Read more »

Danny Ella
Danny Ella
7 days ago

I can definitely relate to that going out stuff, the way I hate going out on dates is not from this universe, especially when you have a very insisting friend that wants to hang out with you. I will be like bro I’m still living with my parent I would have to ask for permission before I go anywhere. And sometimes, I will just give them a sweet lie. Abeg that going out of a thing is out for me.

Tongret
Tongret
7 days ago

Interesting piece Doris, I can relate to all of them except the escalator experience of course, I’m sorry you had to go through that. I still dread public speaking like a plague, sometimes I wish I could just say “f**k it ” and just do it but it’s terrifying like,what if I say the wrong thing,what if I get my tenses wrong, what if my posture isn’t right, would I look ugly,timid or foolish,etc… I love being in the church choir and have a good voice but I run away from every appearance of being the lead vocal of a… Read more »

Jeremy
Jeremy
7 days ago

Sometimes I feel I might never be able to get off this rollercoaster of social avoidance. With a resolve each day to get better with meeting more people and making new friends, I still walk past thousands of people each day without saying a single word 🤦‍♂ (Like say na my own worst pass😩) Not to talk of public speaking, shit scares the hell out of me. Even though I’ve done it a couple of times it kinda seem to only get harder. Buh seeing u and several others overcame theirs, I guess ah’d have to keep making resolves and… Read more »

K2b
K2b
7 days ago

I relate so much to this. Offen times socializing outside my comfort zone is a bit difficult.. Reminds me of sometime last month when I followed a not so close friend of mine to go see his other friends. At one point I felt I was alone in the room, I tried so much to jump into their conversations but believe me it wasn’t easy . Inner me wished I could travel back in time and stay home .

Idawor Ruth
Idawor Ruth
7 days ago

Whenever it comes to going out/dates, I get nervous and usually bothered about the many eyes staring at me so I find ways to escape that outing part😅😅…I am a big-time social outcast who is always scared of everything and everyone🙃🙃(trying to work on it tho)…I find it difficult trying to chip into an ongoing conversation whenever it comes to physical interaction but easily relate to people behind the keyboard. I have become too comfortable hiding and staying indoors and that is scary!

Tai
Tai
7 days ago

😂😂😂😂😂😂😂…. The interesting thing about this article is that just when I thought I was rounding up reading… I entered another zone of laughter. Very interesting read😂😂😂I must say. For me, I talk well amongst friends… infact everyone everyone says I am intelligent 🌚But how I can’t bring that intelligence into speaking effectively in public is what I’ve not been able to understand until recently😏 Public speaking is an art, it can be mastered… Everyone experiences butterflies and stuff, I think that’s where the mastering comes in! I have seen the best speakers stutter… they remember their training and then… Read more »

Precious
Precious
6 days ago

I can relate with practically everything you’ve talked abt. Imagine being the smart kid but you don’t Rili know much abt using computers 😂. The going out part is something I always have a perfect excuse too maybe I’d start to tackle that one next year

Ruu
Ruu
6 days ago

😂😂see the funniest thing is am also called Doris and we are literally goin through the same exact growing pains
This honestly makes me feel really normal after all 😂😂

Nnajiofor
Nnajiofor
6 days ago

I think you should try meditation. It helps calm the mind, make peace with your phobias and be present at all times so you won’t have to worry about past experiences or stress over future ones. Nice peace shaa… I could really relate to it.

Nnajiofor
Nnajiofor
6 days ago

Yes you should. Consistency is also key. You may not see results immediately sef… In short your mind will conciously throw resistance at itself to discourage you. But as rule thumb when learning a new thing or engaging in new activity, when one encounters resistance, it means you doing prolly on the right path

Abimbola
Abimbola
6 days ago

I can relate to almost all of this especially the escalator one,😭
I almost fell the first day I used one and I’m never going to use one again.

Popoola Ahmed
Popoola Ahmed
6 days ago

I love this Article

Samuel
Samuel
6 days ago

This is crazy 😅 you kept exposing all my hidden fears felt like I was the one writing the article. I still overthink when I have to go to any ‘social function’ even something as casual as visiting someone 😅 The public speaking?? Could never be me! I remember that one time my parents decided we’d take turns to share and pray during night devotions. After preparing for a solid two weeks, I was so sure I had an interesting topic to share, the right things to talk about and even the perfect verses too. ‘Game time’ reached and I… Read more »

Skyler
Skyler
6 days ago

Whenever i go out to do something I’ve never done before or leave for a place I’ve never been, i develop anxiety….. My voice becomes unstable and i get shaky fingers which I can’t control but when I get used to it the flow becomes normal😂😂😂😂 your write up’s very lovely.

Lydiapurple
Lydiapurple
6 days ago

Nice

Gedine Ortega
Gedine Ortega
5 days ago

Omg! I love you so much Doris, haven’t laughed this hard in a while lol. Stumbled on this link on twitter, clicked it reluctantly and now I don’t regret doing so. This entire post is a description of me, the accuracy is mind blowing lol! Finally found my lockdown niche and I’m looking forward to reading more posts from you, cheers!.

Sorex
Sorex
4 days ago

Still trying to overcome the aspect of speaking publicly and I know within me that there lies my greatness, I know I will overcome it soonest

Eziukwu
Eziukwu
3 days ago

Really interesting. Funny enough, these things still hunts me till date. Especially now that I am involved with public speaking & writing, I still hear my voice cracking up and it’s really embarrassing. The date thing is a no no for me, except it’s somewhere really simple with just coke please. I just finished computer lessons recently because it’s a shame I can’t handle the computer when I’m close to 30.

Polished Arrow
Polished Arrow
1 day ago

Amazing reads.

98
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x