Ever put your foot in your mouth big time?
Ever lie awake at night thinking about the times you put your foot in your mouth big time?
Ever lie awake at night wondering why you don’t learn your bloody lesson and keep your mouth shut?
It is hard enough living with anxiety, social awkwardness, undiagnosed “but we all know full well what it is” mental health issues, without making things worse by saying the wrong things at the wrong time.
Sometimes I don’t know I’ve said them, which makes me feel weird. To me something might be perfectly logical, and make sense, but others react with “*GASP* I can’t believe you said that” or even worse still when they just gasp and say my name incredulously. That just makes me feel bad! I wish people would point out the exact thing that was inappropriate and tell me why so I can avoid making similar mistakes.
Recent example – my new boss (I started this job in January) is pregnant. She announced this recently via email. I congratulated her via email, “congratulations :)”, and left it at that. She then, later that day, came back to the office I was working in. After a while I realised that it was probably the done thing to mention it again. So I went into her office and said “So, having a baby! Wow. Was it a happy accident or were you planning it?”
To my boss’s credit, she smiled and said a bit of both, but apparently this was not the right thing to say. I had mentioned it in passing to someone, who started peeing themselves laughing, and said “I can’t believe you said that, that’s hilarious”. Confused, I smiled and said “Mmm”, wondering what was so hilarious about it. So I told a few other people what I had said, and got the same reaction from all of them, although not all of them peed themselves laughing.
Now, what was wrong with what I said? It was a valid question. Only 55% of pregnancies in the UK are planned. I myself was an accident. Two other of my 3 siblings were accident, so that means out of the four of us, only one was planned. So I thought it was perfectly valid to ask that. Obviously not! If any of you can explain the gentler side of human interaction beyond the “she’s going to be excited to have a baby, you can’t ask her that”, please feel free to do so in the comments.
Other times, I know pretty much as soon as it has come out of my mouth that it wasn’t a good thing, and that it is now going to make things awkward.
A few minutes ago, one of the partners of the firm came up to me at my desk, and asked me about a mutual acquaintance of ours. I put my foot in it massively, and now am convinced that he thinks I am some sort of idiot, and is going to stop all his attempts at small talk with me, (which I would be secretly grateful for!).
Write me off as socially useless, and chuck me in the bin, I am so done!
There is a reason I live alone with a cat, and share my weekends with my equally socially awkward O.H. We can be as awkward as we want in our own home.