Depending on how I meet a person, it can take me a long time to warm up to them. Apparently, this happens more than I previously thought. A couple days ago, a friend mentioned (in regard to to my lack of relationship experience) that while he knew several people who had liked me at one time or another, he (and implied the others) found that I was a person who became more and more appealing over time, but I started mostly at a plain Jane sort of level. I found this very interesting and slightly unsettling. This isn’t really surprising, but I wish I made better first impressions on the social scene. In general, I think I mirror people. I think this works to comfort people and build trust in the long term, but because it takes me so long to figure people out, I often wonder if I miss out on opportunities to be good friends with some people or to pry open different facets of people.
On a related topic, I feel like this weekend has reemphasized some things for me. I shut down very easily. I actually don’t do well when I am introduced to someone new by someone I know. The others generally get along well, and I become very silent–and, I’d like to think, very observant. I do much better one-on-one, but even then it’s definitely a race between finding the right talking topic and draining myself out just thinking about new topics.
I know in the past, I did the best on first encounters when I assumed that all others were on the same playing field as I am. But the more I move out of the school arena, the more obvious it becomes that things will never again be on an even playing field. People work off connections. And right now while I know I have some connections, I struggle to take advantage of the connections to properly present myself in a positive light. And because I apparently take so long to get on people’s radar, I seem to be running into issues grasping/holding people’s attention. At least it’s something I’m conscious of.