Ah yes! We are the generation of feeling awkward and uncomfortable in perfectly normal social situations. A perfect example is, when I’m asked of my welfare by an unfamiliar group of people, I supply them with the history and nature of potatoes, rather than a simple ‘’I’m okay’’.
I’ve been told on numerous occasions that I appear to be a confident person. Okay yeah… I agree to some extent. I do feel quite confident in many situations but most of the time I’m just really good at appearing confident and hiding the fact that I feel as awkward and uncomfortable as watching a Bollywood kissing scene with my grandmother next to me (did you think of Emraan Hashmi too? Same).
In most cases, these situations are the most normal, everyday, human-functioning-activities. But nah boo, I’d rather have someone thread the middle of my upper lip 500 gajillion times. Let’s walk through some of these situations, shall we?
- Making ANY phone call: Whether it’s phoning an uncle or ordering a pizza, I can’t. I go through 3 minutes of breathing exercises and 4 rounds of practicing the conversation before actually dialling. What if they can’t hear my order and I need to repeat myself? Will it sound rude if I say no to the specials? What if they ask me a question about cheese? Am I prepared to answer cheese related questions? If you don’t have an app, I’m not eating from you.
- Getting a massage: Most people go for massages for relaxation, but I just enjoy throwing away my money for an hour of cringe. Candles, soothing music and the fragrance of essential oils are not strong enough to mask the thoughts that go through my head during a massage. The entire ordeal is just a series of awkwardness. Not knowing which items of clothing to remove (note to self: you don’t need to remove your bra the next time you go for a foot massage), saying ‘’no no, the pressure is perfect’’ even though she/he’s kneading at your spleen and trying not to fall off to sleep because you’re a snorer.
- Putting away change at a shopping till: Oh how this 7 second transaction TRIGGERS my anxiety. Not only am I holding up the queue by wanting to put away my change…but the cashier is trained to hand me my change on top of my receipt. Successfully separating change and one’s receipt without the wide spread spillage of 2 cent coins are amongst one of the most complex struggles young adults face today.
- Greeting a new person: This is a broad one, but let’s focus on greetings at brown weddings. As a typical brown girl, you are trained to greet aunties with hugs, kisses and ‘’Jee I’m okay, jee, haha, lol no I’m not married yet’’. This isn’t that bad, but there’s always that ONE instance when you don’t quite get the correct cheek-to-lip manoeuvre and well…*sigh. You’ve just planted a big wet one on your father’s cousin’s sister’s neighbour.
- Going to a doctor: At age 23, my mum still accompanies to the doctor’s office. I don’t think I’ve ever spoken to my doctor because all I do is look at my mother each time he asks me a question. I’m honestly trying to work up the confidence to deal with this one though, I’m starting to get a bit annoyed with my mum for telling everyone that my bronchitis was caused by my inability to clean my room or help her in the kitchen.
As ridiculous as these situations may seem, I honestly do lack confidence and turn into a bumbling mess when put into them. It’s funny until it actually affects your life, and it can.
Some people may just feel awkward in certain situations and for some people, there’s an underlying case of anxiety. Struggling with anxiety is much broader and something Husnaa, Sauda, and I would like to discuss with you soon. I do hope you don’t find the introduction of this issue to be too abrupt (I tried breaking the ice with my failed attempt at humour in the beginning).
You see, anxiety is not just feeling ‘’anxious’’; it’s an underrepresented mental health disorder which we need to acknowledge and understand in order to kick its butt.
Thank you guys so much for joining me again! I have so many more of these situations that I could talk about but I think I’ll leave them for a part 2. If you find that you relate to any of these, be sure to get in touch and let us know via our social media (IG: @thebrowngirlsociety) or leave a like/comment below. Chat soon my lovelies and thank you, always xxx