Social situations that freak you out

I work/attend school on a small campus divided by a small street. Pretty typically you see people you know going to and from buildings, so I usually give the customary wave or polite conversation. Two things freak me out in this context though:

  1. When someone waves in my direction and appears to be looking at me. That must mean I know them… but I can’t for the life of me recall who this person is! I’ve been here a while and I know a lot of people… but I’m really freaked out and often have the internal conversation, “Hey, don’t wave back like a jackass when the person they’re waving to is actually behind you!” I’ve had it happen both ways - the person is indeed waving at me and I just don’t recall meeting them before, or the person is waving at someone else. I mean, I guess it doesn’t matter if I wave at some random person but it seems really dorky to me.

  2. Street parking is cack on campus so usually it requires a couple of circuits around the block and surrounding areas. I’m usually running late, and a little stressed so it is never a time when I’m driving in a leisurely manner. Sometimes I see people I know, but I pretend to be super-engrossed in driving because a) I’m not in the mood to chat - I can’t be charming because I’m going to be late! and b) I feel like a dork, where they’re probably saying, “Didn’t Hippy Hollow just drive up this street two minutes ago? Invest in a bus pass, jackass.” I always feel really weird doing this.

What social situations, for some bizarre reason, make you uncomfortable?

When I see people I know at places other than where I would normally interact with them. Like seeing classmates at the grocery store or co-workers at the mall. I don’t know why, but I don’t like when this happens. I will actually hide so that they won’t see me and I won’t have to strain to think of things to say.

I also hate when people ask what I did over the weekend. I don’t usually have any exciting stories to tell them, so I always feel boring and lame.

When a friend introduced me to his new wife after I hadn’t seen him in a while. I had seen his wife, tho. Not too long ago, either. Naked. And with a body part of mine inside of her. (Was a club scene fling thing, see? mid 80s. Odd times…)

MY GF at the time looked at me afterwards and told me she could tell we had slept together. It was before I met her, so she didn’t mind, but she thought it funny how both the girl and I made such light and airy new meeting small talk. To be honest, we hadn’t talked much more than that the night we had hooked up.

I wondered whether to brooch the subject with the guy, because I had no idea if I had met the girl before or after their wedding date, but it had to be darn close. I decided to leave it up to the girl. Saw guy again not terribly long ago. No longer with her. Don’t know if it was infidelity or just falling out of love on someone’s part. I didn’t ask either. I don’t right know if I would handle a similar situation in the same way or not.

I hate running into Ex’s: ex-friend, ex-lover, ex-husband, former co-workers. I don’t know what to do or say. Its better to spot them first and try to avoid them. :o

There’s a woman in town who has made at least one blatant attempt at seducing my husband into her bed despite the fact that she knows we are married. I always cringe a whole lot on the inside and a little bit on the outside when I see her out socially. If I found myself trapped in a situation in which I would actually have to engage in conversation with her, I wouldn’t know what to say other than to call her out for being a wanton slut, so I fear the absence of other things to say instead.

Formal moments of silence. As in, let’s all take a moment to reflect on veterans/ astronauts/ saints/ the deceased, whatever. I will invariably start to think “how will we know when the moment is over?” and it makes me very nervous and sometimes cracks me up–thorougly inappropriate, I know.

Times where people from different parts of my life are suppossed to interact. I don’t know how to be because I feel like I have so many different personalities based on context. Also, I don’t know how to be nice to everyone at once, or how to pick–I don’t know how to make sure everyone is feeling included and welcome and all that.

I eloped in large part because I couldn’t figure out how to have a wedding that wouldn’t drive me crazy with this problem. And I’m cheap.

I don’t know if it qualifies as a social situation per se, but funerals just squick me out. Especially ones where they leave the body out there for everyone to look at. I just can’t deal with it. I have standing instructions to all my family and friends that there will be NO FUNERAL when I go. Cremate me, scatter the ashes somewhere pretty then go have a big party in my honor. Or roll me in a joint and smoke me, whatever! Just no meat worship ceremony, please… :eek:

Is a funeral really about what the dead person wants, though, or is it about whatever makes the survivors feel better?

Of course it’s all about the survivors, that’s why it freaks me out. I can’t understand why anyone would want their last memory of a loved one to be a made up, doll like dead thing in a box, especially when they drag kids in with them. I guess I spent too much time in Japan, because funerals there consist of a nice dinner with a very good picture of the deceased at the head of the table, which strikes me as being much more civilized. Me, I don’t let people see me when I haven’t had a shower or brushed my hair, I’ll be damned if I let anyone catch a glimpse of me as a chunk of spoiling meat. Western funerals, brrrr… :frowning:

Then there’s the whole “go to the graveside and watch them lower the box of meat into the ground” part, which also gives me the willies. One of my biggest irrational fears is waking up in a coffin underground and I can’t watch a funeral in a movie, even, without a frisson or two.

Hey, I understand closure and all, but funerals of this type strike me as just one step away from the ceremonial cannibal meals some tribes practice–heck, even that’s more practical, at least everybody gets some protein and the deceased is “living on” in his relatives in a most intimate way. Just don’t eat the brains, though, 'cause prion diseases are pretty unrelenting… :eek:

Mine is when you happen going to the same destination as someone you know.

For example you get on the same bus as someone from work or school that you don’t know very well and probably don’t like much. Normally you can just pretend you don’t see them. But sometimes it gets worse because you made idle chit chat with them earlier without knowing what was going to happen and now you have to stretch that polite banter about the weather into a 45 minute conversation because they won’t get off the bus.

And then you both get off at the same stop… :smack:

I work in a small workplace where the setup is a front office where the secretary works and then separate offices for each of us down the hall. The printer and everything is in the front office, so I go in there a jillion times a day.

How often should I say “hi” to our secretary? How many times can I just waltz in and out without being rude? How frequently do I need to chitchat to establish that we’re friends? And when she says “hi” to me a lot sooner than I think the allotted time has passed, is that code for “let’s have a pleasant conversation” or “I’m just acknowledging you so don’t get any funny ideas”? I just DON’T KNOW and it had better not come up on my evaluation next year or else I’ll flunk for sure.

When you’re walking down the street and a total stranger walks up beside you and you’re both walking at the same pace, practically right next to each other… usually you both speed up gradually, too, in order to lose the other person. It’s incredibly awkward.
I also don’t do well with seeing people I know in places I don’t expect to see them. I (most of the time) HATE it when my friends come to “visit” me at work. I’m working! I don’t have time to sit and chat. The worst is that I always end up being their waitress (they ask for me if I’m not) and it’s just… this odd exchange where I feel like I ought to entertain them. Even worse is when they start acting really childish… swearing loudly and making inappropriate jokes about cannibalism and necrophilia and such or making messes.

That and seeing a close friend somewhere like the mall or grocery store… I can never think of anything to say and I end up talking to them like they’re some old lady from church who hasn’t seen me since I was six.
I can’t stand asking for things. Like I hate asking for rides and I hate selling things like candy bars where I have to call people I know and guilt them into buying crap they don’t want. Oh, and asking people to fill in for me for stuff that isn’t fun. I hate that.

Really anything involving small talk. I HATE making small talk. It’s so trite. That’s why I usually bring a book with me EVERYWHERE.

For years when I was expected to be male, whenever I was put into all-male social situations, it gave me anxiety attacks. I was comfortable only when women were around. No one knew what was wrong with me. When I finally figured out I was trans, it all made more sense. There wasn’t anything wrong with me, I had just been classified wrongly by society. Now I relate to guys much better, as long as no one expects me to be one. There’s much to be said in favor of proper boundaries.

Parties and weddings. For some reason these two situations just really make me crazy. I don’t know if I could ever attend any of my high school reunions because I think that they’d have a similar effect on me.

When I meet a girl for the first time and she knows me and I insist I don’t know her and she knows exactly who I am and I still insist I have no idea who she is and she says something that makes me remeber that we actually hooked up or dated. Awkward.

Like THESE people?

I find it awkward the first time I meet the friends of someone I’m seeing. They know his history, how he was in his previous relationships, whether he’s into me or just having fun, what he *really * thinks about my movie choices…
We’ve all had that friend who’s a serial dater, who brings around someone new every few months or so. We know it’s not going to be long-term, and some of them take it badly when he moves on.

I grew up in a mid-size college town but left the state for my own higher education. However, most people from my high school went on to the local school. Whenever I came back over breaks, I’d inevitably run into people (usually at the video store) that I wanted to avoid.

These weren’t people I disliked, just people I didn’t have anything to say to. I hate the “I recognize you and you recognize me, but we’re either going to studiously avoid eye contact and make like we don’t see each other, or else awkwardly nod and pretend to be really interested in the blurb on the back of the Spiderman 2 DVD” moments.

You ain’t the only one. It’s even worse when they ask, “Got any big plans for the weekend?” No, probably not, because I need my weekends to study for my actuarial exams, clean out my garage, do my grocery shopping and laundry, pay my bills . . . It isn’t like I’ve got a stay-at-home spouse or nanny or cleaning person to do that crap for me.

So I say no, and not only do I sound like a loser, but then I have to hear about their big plans involving their toddler’s cello recital or some such gloop. God I suck at workplace chatter.