This is for GBE2 Prompt 91: Crowd
I do not do very well in large groups of people. I am the person who tends to sit by herself at parties, and doesn’t talk very much. This is mostly because I often have problems following conversations or knowing when it is appropriate to interject a comment of my own. Ambient noise and a lot of people having different conversations at once can also cause me to become confused. On various occasions, I have responded to something that I actually misheard due to ambient noise and distraction. This leads to social awkwardness and a even more engrained tendency to avoid large groups of people.
(I do much better talking to one or more people who I know fairly well. I do not tend to have many topics of conversation as I have a few very intense interests that overlap. I am not good at small talk. Polite social topics and polite phrases you are supposed to say frustrate me. I have been known to absent mindedly use the wrong response to common rote phrases. Them: How are you doing? Me: Hi. Them: *to someone else, stage whisper* what is wrong with her?)
This dislike of crowds also extends to online contacts. I do not do group chats with more than three people if I can help it, and I have to know them fairly well or I will just sit there doing nothing. I can get discouraged pretty easily with online conversations. As an example, I had to stop going into the chat room for an online roleplaying game I was in because I tended to stick my foot into my mouth on a regular basis. (There was also the part I wasn’t actually all that interested in talking to anyone else.) Sometimes I just can’t keep up.
Now, you would expect someone who does not like crowds and is not good at social cues and communication to be bad at public speaking. This does not seem to be the case! I do not experience much in the way of stage fright, and in a controlled environment with a script or outline in front of me I actually manage to communicate fairly well, though the question and answer part of the public speaking thing is something I am not as good at doing. (Also, sometimes the questions are thoughtless or deliberately trolling, which means answering them is impossible.) When I took a public speaking course in college, the only type of speech I did really badly was one where you were supposed to teach the class how to do something. (The topic I settled on was more complicated than I anticipated so I basically flubbed the entire thing.)
Aside from public speaking, (or at least public speaking classes) I am actually very much a wall flower though.