Tuesday, 21 June 2016

that dread memory

when i was growing up, i was slow to realise that my social interactions with others caused them moderate-to-severe discomfort, and that a lot of how i behaved (and, when i was in my teens, what i said) was generally quite abrasive. now, i should emphasise that this is not just the awkwardness while one is young(er), or the rebelliousness associated with youth - i never really went through a rebellious phase, as i was at boarding school, anyway, and i always liked the higher authorities; i never really felt that i was too awkward a person in my lonesome, but i do recall, now, that in the company of others, i would behave somewhat unsavoury-ly - something that persists in vestigial amounts to this day.

perhaps, it is warranted here an example. i believe that one of the biggest social faux pas-es that i did was this uncanny ability to remember the smallest details that i pick up during conversations. again, when i was younger, i felt that everyone would retain a considerable amount of information from social conversations, and it would, therefore, not be out of place to reproduce such information at a later date - this is wrong. not only do people forget most of the 'filler' details of conversations, they also relegate most of the information to a disposable status soon after the conversation has ended - something, which, i feel is socially acceptable, if not expected.

now, before you judge me for being a self-proclaimed know-it-all, or hyper-observant twat, let me acknowledge that i am neither (or anything similar, hopefully). i don't pretend to have a photographic memory, or am able to 'learn' of things faster than anyone else, just that i have perhaps, always thought that everything one mentions in passing is important enough to warrant someone paying attention to. of course, with age, i now know that most people use these factoids as 'fillers' and, unfortunately, i find myself (having to do) doing the same.

of course, a repercussion of this was that people would find me weird for knowing things about them 'that nobody else knew' or that 'they never told anyone', which, again, still happens to this day. you can imagine that, since this retaining of information is more emphasised when i deem it 'important' (such as when someone special in your life may mention something to you), well, it only bodes unwell for when i try to have a casual conversation with 'that' someone (especially considering that i'm already in jitters to begin with).

in any of these high pressure cases, it seems that i let blurt, sometimes, that old habit, of information that was so readily divulged before, but apparently not to be retained - in said conversations, in job interviews, in meeting new people, and such. and the slanted glances don't go unnoticed. however, in my (oh-so-wise-) age, i've now learned to better control this in conversations, such that i 'force' myself to forget things i hope are too trivial (and doing this on purpose takes a lot of practice and experience!), but sometimes, people do notice that i'm feigning it (although it's usually not the person who's supposed to have thought that i had legitimately forgotten, thank heavens.

anyway, it's nice to become a little less socially inept by controlling this impulse, but at the same time i cannot help imagining if i've come to mask it so well that i've now adopted it as a norm. i do find myself forgetting details of a conversation that, when in the past, people would say 'i can't believe you don't remember me telling you this' and thinking to myself, 'yes, i remember, of course, but have to pretend that i don't remember every single thing you've told me, lest you think me a stalker', now i find that i legitimately don't recall (or at least require some pondering to recall it). perhaps it is also my (purported) age that is lending its hand at making me more socially acceptable.

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