Also known as: How I am not a person who asks questions

I’d like to think I’m a pretty friendly person. I’d like to believe that it’s very easy for me to make friends (keeping friends is another issue for another post). I can manage pretty well in a crowd and go home with new people to talk to, as long as I keep my mind open and I am willing to meet and socialize with new people.

However, there are times when I know and prove that I am not as friendly as I thought I am. My talkative nature may fool you, but really, I think I kind of suck at making friends with some people, especially shy ones. Or people who I don’t share the same language with.

I think I figured out why that is so last weekend.

I don’t ask questions.

One of my closest high school friends admits herself to be quite shy, but I find that she has managed to keep most, if not all, of our high school friends. I kind of suck with keeping in touch, so putting me in the same room with my old high school batch mates without the ones I consider very close to me now and I’ll be uncomfortable, especially if they all have their own groups. My friend, on the other hand, can probably stay there and talk to them and go out with them again sometime after that.

Last weekend, we had “new blood” in our group, and while I find myself still able to talk to him,I wasn’t able to talk to him for a long time because I don’t know what to ask. I mean, I could probably dig up stuff to ask, but I feel like our conversation would probably be littered with awkward silences as I try my best to be accommodating and entertaining and all that.

It’s kind of a weird realization to know that despite my being talkative, I don’t really ask questions. I think it’s because I’m not confrontational. I don’t really ask stuff — I tend to digest things first before asking anything. Call it a defense mechanism, or maybe even masochism. Masochism in the sense that in school, I’d rather find things out for myself than ask. I’d exhaust all possible resources before getting the nerve to ask a question. I’m also not the one who will snap at a waiter or waitress in a restaurant if their service is crappy (except maybe if I’m in a really, really bad mood), and more often than not, I sound nice when I’m annoyed.

I think that carries over with my conversation skills. Sure, I have no problem talking, but it’s kind of hard for me to keep the questions going and going. I often get along with people who are almost as talkative as I am, or at least, someone who asks the questions and we both answer the questions. But for other people, I tend to falter. I am interested in knowing the other person, it’s just that I’m not in the habit of asking questions.

I guess this goes to show I’m not really a curious person? Or, in Nat Geo’s terms, I don’t live curious?

Well that’s something I should work on. Especially if I plan to attend World Youth Day this year — I’m going to need to be more curious, right?

Does this mean I’m going to have to pick up those conversation starter books? Or maybe I should just learn to pay better attention to other people?