I seem to have a habit of unintentionally screwing up in social interaction by saying things that embarrass me or others by being rude or out of place, or giving the wrong impression. This makes me nervous that I’ll embarrass myself in the future, or that I’ve already alienated the people that I’ve made myself look like an ass in front of. As a result, I sometimes have trouble making new friends, largely through my own fault.
I’m going to put couple examples from the last twenty-four hours here, both of which are interactions with people who live in my dorm at college. I’ll spoiler them so if you just want to answer the question directly you can skip over the self-indulgent tl;dr.
[spoiler]Last night I was having a conversation with Person A about a famous author who is coming to speak on campus soon, and whom we both want to go see. She was lamenting that she didn’t have a copy on her of the book that he’s speaking about, and hasn’t read it in a while. My response: “I already have my copy of [that book] signed, so I’m bringing a different one of his books.” I immediately wanted to take that statement back, because it made it sound like I was just bragging about the fact that I’ve already met the author, rather than trying to add to the conversation, which was what I was doing (I had expected that she was going to bring up something about getting a book signed).
This morning, Person B was complaining about having to read Marx’s The Jewish Question for a class. I told her I hadn’t read that, but I did find a lot of Marx’s writing dense and hard to follow. She said this was particularly annoying because it felt like a lot of it was just an anti-Semitic screed. I said, “Wait, isn’t Marx Jewish?” She responded, “Yeah, I guess he’s a self-hating Jew.” I sarcastically replied, “Niiiiice, the best kind,” with a sigh. She said only “sure” and turned away. I’m not sure she realized I was being sarcastic, and I didn’t get a chance to tell her so. Now, I’m Jewish myself! But I’m not 100% sure she knows that. And now she might think I’m some kind of anti-Semite.[/spoiler]
Am I being a jerk, and is there some way of thinking through conversations that might lead to me being less of a jerk?
Am I overreacting/over-thinking things, will people not even remember these little screw-ups, and is there some way I can convince myself not to be so nervous about social interaction?
Bit of both?
Or… is this just pretty normal?
I will definitely say that I try to be friends with the people I never feel uncomfortable or embarrassed around, and as such I do have a solid group of wonderful friends, but I think I might be missing out on some great connections with people just because of my own anxiety.