Of all the things worth saying, or writing, now or tomorrows, it’s often the case someone’s said it better before.
Level 3: The Trap*However, some acquaintances don’t share your desire to avoid awkward encounters. In fact, they often seek your company despite your complete inability to relate to each other. This person is seemingly immune to awkwardness and once they latch onto you, you are not allowed to leave until they are done with you.**For example, you might be sitting by yourself in a café, enjoying a cup of coffee. And then you see her squinting up at the drink menu.**She’s trapped you at social gatherings a few times, backing you into a corner and then standing at just the right angle so that you’d have to physically push her out of your path to escape. She’s extremely passionate about a variety of things that you have no real interest in, like veganism and the healing properties of soy. She can talk about these things for hours without pause. While you don’t mind that she feels that way, you don’t particularly want to hear about it in such great detail. But she tells you anyway. Over and over and over. You might make a feeble attempt at steering the conversation to a topic of more mutual interest, but she doesn’t want to talk about what you want to talk about.*The first time you escaped her conversational death-grip, you thought that she had probably said all she needed to say and that the next time you saw her, you could maybe talk about something else. But no. She checks up on you. She wants to know if you’ve tried any of the things she suggested. When you tell her that you “haven’t gotten around to it yet,” the cycle starts over again.*You want to avoid this kind of interaction, so you turn your chair away, hoping that she won’t see you when she turns around.**But it’s too late. She’s spotted you.**She’s not quite sure if it’s you yet, but you can feel her eyes focusing on you. You risk a glance to see if she’s still there, even though you know that she is.**And then you accidentally lock eyes with her.**Once eye contact is established, she begins to lurch toward you in slow motion, like a zombie in a bad horror movie. You are consumed by a desire to bolt, but you don’t. Your obligation to adhere to social decencies outweighs your sense of self-preservation. You stay right where you are, unable to look away.**You are going to have to talk about soybeans. A lot. And you are going to have to pretend that you like it. To protect your dignity.**
Well-intentionedsocial terrorism*The well-intentionedsocial terrorist does not alert you before they invade your safety bubble. It’s always a surprise. You’ll come home, exhausted and eager to finally feel safe from unwanted interaction.**But then…**You’re cornered like an animal. There’s nowhere to go.**You’d always assumed that your own home was a safe place – a place where you were not in dangerof sudden, undesired social interaction.But your pathetic delusions of safety implode into the realization that nowhere is safe anymore.***You could tell them no, but you aren’t busy and you don’t have any immediate plans, so you don’t really have an acceptable reason to decline their company.**You could try to lie and say that you’re just coming home to drop some stuff off before you have go somewhere. But if you do that, you’ll have to spend the rest of the night in total darkness, because if your friend walks by and notices that your lights are on, they’re going to know you were lying.**But if you allow this person into your house, you are no longer in control of when the interaction ends. This is not as simple as finding the right opportunity to walk away. No. This is some next-level shit. You can’t just walk out of your own house and leave the person there. Where would you go?*If you want to be left alone, you’re going to have to wait it out until you can convince the other person to leave.**But even then, it isn’t over.*Now that you are aware that your home is not the impenetrable fortress of protection you once thought it was, you are forced to live in a constant state of slight uneasiness. Someone could surprise you at any time.*What if your friend decides to surprise you with a visit every day? Now you have to worry about keeping your place picked up, “just in case.”You’re scared to play music or watch movies because then you can’t pretend to not be home if someone knocks on your door.**
You are no longer in control of your life.