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21 September 2008

Spillin' Over

I've been blogging for almost a year now, and I've come across this question on other people's blogs: Are you the same person in real life as you are on your blog? I generally tend to think I'm better on paper, thereby somewhat different than I am in person.

Editing, ya know? If I say something unfitting, I can just delete it and have a do-over.

Real life doesn't offer that.

(Nor does it offer background music or a theme song, which I also think is unfortunate.)

Add to that that in real life, I am nice, but not friendly. I am not great at small talk. In fact, I pretty much suck at it.

(How is this possible for a Southern girl? I don't know.)
(Maybe I'm British after all.)
(Which is not to say that the British aren't good small talkers. I wouldn't know.)
(If you're British, don't get all put out. I don't mean anything by that.)
(All I'm saying is it is decidedly UNsouthern to not be a fantastic small talker. It's in our DNA.)
(Well, most of us anyway.)

So anyway, this Can't Small Talk Disease does not apply to people I already know. I could straight talk the HEAD off of someone I have an established relationship with. If you know me... you know. :)

However, if it's someone I don't really know, I am a social misfit. I get lock jaw. I think people sometimes experience me as rude or maybe snobby. It's not that. I don't think I'm better than you. I'm just terrible at small talk.

So where am I going with this anyway? Well, back to the original question... Are you the same person in real life as you are on your blog? Well, on my blog I feel so much more freedom. I have become practiced at saying what I'm thinking. Therefore, blogging almost every day is changing me. It's starting to spill over. It's kinda nice, but it kinda makes me nervous, too. Being practiced at saying things here is now more easily translated into the real world, where real people are looking at me. In real time.

When I'm writing a post, there's no one who may possibly be forming judgments about me. No eyes, watching me. But it's like I'm training myself to be different. Forming different habits. Perhaps unfolding. I'd like to think of it as that.

I think blogging has been good for me in this regard. I've never enjoyed my handicap, but it has served me. I've always wanted to converse more easily with people - to be better at putting other people at ease... because we're all dealing with our own stories and insecurities about ourselves. Sitting in awkward silence only makes it worse. When I am with someone who is chatty and friendly though, I mirror that. Because I like it. I am more inclined to become friends with those people. Their open friendliness puts me at ease and dissolves my fear of rejection.

I'd like to think that blogging is helping me to overcome some of that junk.

So, if you know me, have you noticed a difference?
Also, if you blog, what's been your experience with this? I really want to know.

11 people love me:

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

I definitely think blogging has changed me...it makes me say nice things to people because I like when people say nice comments to me in blog-world, I figure, why not just do it to people in real life too!

Great Post!

The Bayou Belles and Their Beau said...

You're crazy. I think you are the same in person and you are super sweet and nice and all that jazz. And, I've never seen you have a problem with small talk or conversation (maybe, we just naturally go together). Now that I blog, I know way more about you than I did before, which I think is true for me too. But, I would still like you the same just from knowing you in real life.

The Bayou Belles and Their Beau said...

BTW, left you a little bling at my site. Come on over and get it.

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

Found you through Mama Belle and seriously how fun are you?! FUN! :) I enjoyed my visit over here. I totally get your vibe on this post. I go on and on about stuff on my blog, then when I am around people (some acquaintances who read my blog) I feel all awkward and they expect me to be miss wordy, like I am in blog world. :) Split personalities... :)
Any way, happy Monday and I'll visit again. :)

Bridget said...

I wish I knew you in real life, your blog is fantastic.

I know for me I think people would be greatly dissapointed if they met me in real life and compared me to the blog me. I tend to shy away from people who read my blog because of that. I feel with my blog I have to entertain the masses... I wouldn't do that in real life. You want to slob around in your p.j.'s all day ignoring your kids... I'm your woman ;o).

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Oh, sister. I relate to every single thing you wrote here. Especially the "I am nice, but not friendly" and the part about people thinking sometimes you are snobby. Me too. And I'm not...at all...but sometimes I just can't think of a darn thing to say, and most times small talk sounds so stilted coming out of my mouth. I think that's why I love blogging...it flows so much better. But if I ever get to meet any of ya'll in real life, you're gonna wonder what is wrong with me, 'cause I will mostly likely sit in the corner and smile and listen in, but not talk very much. :)

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

Hello, my friend! It was good to hear from you today.

It's also good to read someone writing about "real" stuff. What I mean is that you kinda opened yourself up a little here, showed us a "real" side of you.

Ever heard "Stained Glass Masquerade" by Casting Crowns? I love that song. And you have totally closed the curtain on the masquerade. I love that.

Yes, I think I'm probably a bit different in "real life" too. I don't think people mistake me for being a snob, but I find it difficult to initiate the small talk with overly-ambitious talkers.

Blogging has allowed me to really think about the words I want to use and exactly how they need to be arranged to get my exact meaning across. I wish I could do that when I speak. :-)

Love this post!! OH, and you, too, ya gotta know by now!

Donna@WayMoreHomemade said...

I even posted today that a blog friend and I talked recently about how some of our online friendships are more authentic than irl especially church relationsihps. We're willing to say to the online community sometimes that which we don't feel like we can say to those we come in contact with face to face on a regular basis.

This is an interesting question, though. I'd have to say that yes, I do think I'm the same in blog land and irl. Friends may say differently. I'll have to ask.


susanna said...

I remember telling my husband, Scott, "Are you kidding? I don't have time to blog! I have laundry and children...and LAUNDRY!" And yet here I am, blogging away and thoroughly enjoying myself. It's a release for me. I think I'm able to be open about my life in a way that I wasn't before. Thanks for making me think...and for keepin' it real over here! :)
Sue (tsg)

Jodie said...

I wish y'all were all my neighbors. Well, except for the fact that I know more about any of you than I do about my actual neighbors. Case in point.

Sarah: I'm the same way. I figure, hey, I love comment crack. I bet everyone else would too! I'm a junk dealer now. :)

Wendi: Welcome welcome! Also, I totally feel ya.

Jackie: "But if I ever get to meet any of ya'll in real life, you're gonna wonder what is wrong with me, 'cause I will mostly likely sit in the corner and smile and listen in, but not talk very much. :)" I'll be in the opposite corner, watching and listening. And then thoroughly embracing any company I get. :)

Chel: You said, "Blogging has allowed me to really think about the words I want to use and exactly how they need to be arranged to get my exact meaning across. I wish I could do that when I speak. :-)" Me too!!

Donna: You speak the truth girl. Face to face is definitely more difficult.

Sue: I relate to what you're saying about opening up. The thing is, in real life, I don't offer much about my life. It seems sort of self-absorbed and yet I do it all the time here. But I don't feel like I'm wasting anybody else's time... Friends have pointed out that if they want to know how I'm really doing, they have to ask. I am more than willing to talk about it b/c I'm not trying to keep secrets. I just typically don't offer until someone asks first.

bren j. said...

Since I don't 'know' you in real life, I can't say but I'll just assume your awesomeness carries over.

And alas, just as I'm starting to get caught up (!), guess who wakes up!? Dangit!