The Not Conversationalist

People tell me a lot of stuff that I just don’t want to know or don’t need to know. Some of it is interesting and some requires brain bleach. Same goes with showing. For instance, a friend thought she had a hemorrhoid and proceeded to show me her anus.

Can never get that one out of my head.

But I’ve been told I have a problem with over sharing. I had one person tell me that they didn’t like me because I talked about bodily functions.

First: there was alcohol involved.

Second: we were in a group of sweaty and somewhat obese Magic players.

What’s taboo about that?


Unless you have become an incorporeal being, there are bodily functions. Period. Literally.

So, I talk a lot.

I struggle with things to talk about. Either I overshare or I am taciturn. No middle ground. And because I have people telling me and showing me things that I don’t need to know or can’t know… folks bearing their souls and struggles, I find it hard to gauge what to tell folks and what not.

I have a mental divider for people:

Acquaintances: Small talk. I like coffee. This was on sale. They make really good burgers. I have two cats — Mostly statements of fact. However, this has gotten me in trouble. The day after the election, I was in the work kitchen making coffee. Work acquaintance was in the area while I was talking to work friend. I mentioned to work friend that I really needed coffee because I stayed up late watching the election. Next thing you know, I’m cornered by this lady who doesn’t work in my bureau, but our bureau is adjacent to her department and she is talking about folks losing their insurance and HUD. And when I mean cornered, I mean wedged between a wall and the fridge with no escape route.

So yeah… I just avoid that person.

Friends: Opinions and feelings. Because we’re friends I feel I can share an opinion or feeling with you, but I relegate specific things to specific friends. I have a whole subsection of friends I just don’t discuss politics with. If it’s mentioned, I smile and say “well, that’s interesting.” I’ll tell funny stories, drink with you, laugh with you. But I won’t tell any secrets.

Close friends: You freaking know everything about me. My life is an open book to you. But I have some close friends who consider me a close friend and still avoid topics. I have one friend, who never talks about sex with her partner. Like we know it happens and she’s not an asexual creature, but it doesn’t get mentioned. Literally the only thing she has ever said about sex with her partner is that when they are in the shower, they don’t talk.

But, I feel like I still need to compartmentalize. Or maybe I’m too blunt when I speak of things. Maybe I need to dress it up or dress it down. Or use euphemism.

Either way I’m awkward. For instance, we had a new guy start in our unit and for like the first three weeks all I said was “Hello” and “Bye”. Like, I just had nothing to say. Not in a mean way. But I couldn’t come up with any small talk. I was also super busy because I was making up for being sick, but I just couldn’t come up with anything to say.

But for some reason people seem to confide things in me and feel comfortable around me. I had two different roommates that in the time they both lived with me, I saw them naked more than I saw me naked.


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