Social skills never came naturally to me. I was in my twenties before I learned that you were, in fact, supposed to look people in the eye when you talked to them. Or that when someone asked "how are you," the polite thing to do was to repeat the question to them after you answered. By my thirties I'd discovered that people were way friendlier if you looked them in the eye and smiled when you saw them*. Who knew?
I still make blunders in conversation. Usually I don't catch them until later. So what I need is a custom shock collar that zaps me on the spot. Zap worthy offenses include:
- Talking to loudly. (What seems normal to me seems very loud to others)
- Interrupting (I just have to throw in some smart ass remark or anecdote)
- Know-it-all-ism ("d'ja know I just read about a study where..." )
- Talking too much (I try not to do this, but I suspect it happens. )
- Talking about esoteric, weird or boring (to other people) stuff ("Ever heard of Pacific Ocean Park?" )
*More than once I've accidentally smiled a bit too long and sent a message I didn't intend...