Struggling To Connect


I sit here in my cafeteria at work slowly chomping away at the greasiest slice of processed pizza I’ve ever made myself consume. Right now, I am sitting in the corner at a table made for two by myself. My back faces the window so no one can see my laptop screen. In front of me there is a table of 4, to my right a table of 3. This group has particularly caught my interest and attention. It is moments like these that my introvertedness rushes to the forefront of my thought process. Sitting in the corner by yourself while everyone else in the room is sitting eating with a group probably sounds like hell you a lot of people. But this is exactly where I want to be, this is exactly where I feel most comfortable. I sit here day in and day out by myself by choice to recharge myself. I work hard for 4 hours, take an hour lunch, then work hard for 4 more hours. And when I say work hard, that involves not only the day to day responsibilities of being in HR, but also interacting with my colleagues and the people who sit behind me, and the people who walk by my desk who say hello and introduce that ever so pleasant yet awkward small talk that did not need to take place. But this is not what I’m getting at…

The group to my right, the group of 3 includes two women and one man. All probably in the upper 40’s for a guess of their age. I sit here and am forced to listen to one of the women start complaining about one of her “friends” on Facebook. She describes the typical Facebook Obsessed person. Commenting on everything, sharing everying, uploading pictures with quotes on them every hour, posting nonstop statuses about Pumpkin Latte’s and how “delish” they are. This pointless banter turns from complaining to actual insults including her appearance, her weight, and her choice of foods in spite of her “200 pounds of extra baggage.” This may be an extreme case, but I bet if we all step back and take an objective point of view that we all engage in these types of conversations on a daily basis. I know for me personally, I try to avoid these conversations/situations  with friends/acquaintances/work colleagues not because I am the ideal person who never wants to be involved with talking poorly about someone else, but simply because I find it draining to be forced to listen to someone speak like this. These are not my best friends, these are people who I want to like me because that makes work that much better. As a result, when in that type of situation, I need to pretend to agree, nod, empathize, or sympathize with this individual.

That is exhausting.

That is not something I want to have to do on my lunch break. And to be honest, I’m having a hard to finding someone who doesn’t fill the silence with complaints. For some reason in society, for as long as I can remember (about 12 years) this has been the norm. To make a generalization, people love to tell people about their annoying life. People love to have people sympathize with the annoying nuances they have to deal with. From what I know, this is how the majority of people operate. And to be honest, I think that majority would never even come close to accidentally reading this article. The majority of people who this article will attract and entice to read are those people like me. We are the people who would put up with the annoying status updates and constant comments showing on our newsfeed for a while. Then once it became too much, we would quietly go to their profile, block them from showing up on our newsfeed, and never talk about it. Nobody would know, we don’t want anyone to know, we don’t need anyone to know. It is what it is, and it doesn’t concern anybody but me.

So as I sit here, my mind starts to wonder what it would be like and what it would take to be a part of that other group. To crave that pointless drivel that fulfills nothing but our need to be needed and liked and wanted and accepted.

I just finished my slice and now I’m chomping on the ice cubes left over from my fountain soda. The 3 of them stand up. Two of them fail to tuck their chairs under the table.

I struggle to connect with a lot of people and these are some of the reasons why.

Maybe I’ll try the Tuna Melt tomorrow.

featured image – Safety Not Guaranteed