Let’s Get Personal | Discussion

Posted April 13, 2016 by Kaitlynn in discussion / 23 Comments

With BEA just around the corner, I thought I’d talk about something kind of related to that but more just something that’s been on my mind for a while.  While it does have to do with blogging, it isn’t about books so I’d understand if you didn’t want to keep reading.

I’m a very shy person.  I can sometimes act like I’m not when I’m online and even at some book events but a lot of the time, I stick to myself.  I feel like I miss out on a lot because of this.  I sometimes come across as bitchy or stuck up but that’s not how I really am.  I don’t know how to interact with people I don’t know.  Heck, I don’t even know how to act around people I do know.  I’m extremely awkward and I’m always afraid to say the wrong thing.  Once you get to know me, I will talk your ear off and you won’t be able to get rid of me fast enough but that takes quite some time.

awkward

I’ve also noticed that I sometimes come across the same way online.  I use Twitter a lot but I don’t have the same relationships with other Twitter people that I see some of my fellow bloggers have.  I wish I was able to form quick bonds and just make online friends like that but it’s never been that easy for me.  I get so jealous seeing all these bloggers that are amazing friends with each other because I sometimes feel like I’ll never have that.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met some of my Twitter friends IRL and consider them awesome friends but I still get nervous just messaging them and I wish I knew how to keep in touch with them better.

Here’s where the blogging part really comes in.  I worry that if I don’t become more personable on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram, my blog is going to become irrelevant.  It seems like everybody these days really wants to know the person behind the blog or the Instagram and let me tell you, there isn’t much to tell about me.  I’m not an interesting person.  I don’t have a whole lot to show other than lots of books and a crazy puppy.  I want to keep up with the times but I don’t know how to go about doing that.  I’m a total people pleaser and I want everyone to like me, no matter how impossible that actually is.  I feel like so often I’m trying to tailor my blog and Instagram to what other people want, rather than what I want.  I don’t want to do that but I understand the need to make things appealing for readers since otherwise there isn’t really a point to me putting all this effort into a blog that no one reads.

And since I started this post mentioning BEA, let’s get back to that.  I’m so nervous even though I’ve gone to BEA for the past 5 years!  Every year there are new people and as I’ve mentioned, I’m not good with new people.  I’ve been trying so hard this year to come out of my shell but I’m still a little afraid for how I’m going to act at BEA.  Last year was my first year not going with a group of roommates and my first day was really tough.  I almost booked an early flight home because I was so miserable and didn’t know how to change that.  Lucky for me, I met some amazing bloggers who adopted me into their group and let me tag along for all their fun stuff.  I wouldn’t have made it through without them and I’m happy to say that a bunch of them are actually going to be rooming with me this year which makes me feel at least a little better.  I don’t want to just tag along this year though.  I want to take charge and meet all the people I want to meet and not be afraid to do it.

cheese

Not even kidding, this is me with new people.

So now that I’ve completely rambled on about my awkwardness and total lack of social skills, let’s chat.  Do you guys have social anxiety or any quirks that make it hard to meet new people?  And actually, I’m kind of okay with the meeting people, it’s getting them to want to stay friends with me that’s the hard part.

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23 responses to “Let’s Get Personal | Discussion

  1. First off, I don’t see how asking about cheese is a bad thing. 😀

    It’s interesting that you post this today because I was just thinking about how I feel like I haven’t been participating in actual conversations on Twitter lately. I haven’t been looking through my TL, just responding to people who talk to me…which isn’t helpful in maintaining relationships.

    I personally have a hard time introducing myself to other people. It’s something I’m really trying to work on. I sort of forced myself to do it at Festival of Books and even though I felt awkward about it, it’s getting easier.

    Just know that you’re not alone. A lot of us book people have the same issues {for lack of a better word}. You’re an amazing person and anyone would be lucky to call you a friend.

    Have all of the fun at BEA!

    • Kaitlynn

      Asking about cheese is totally not a bad thing in my book. We’d be best friends if someone started off a conversation with me that way. I’m a big fan of cheese.

      It’s something that has been on my mind a lot lately, mainly because BEA is coming up and everyone has been talking about it. I see so many of my favorite bloggers are going but even on Twitter I don’t really want to jump into their conversations and let them know I’ll be there too. It’s just extremely hard for me to put myself out there and I’m going to have to do what you did and just force myself to do it at the next book event I go to. I’m sure it will get easier as I do it more.

      Thank you so much for your amazing comment. You are one of my favorite bloggers so it means a lot to hear that. 🙂

      • So maybe instead of jumping into conversations right away, just post that you’re going to be there too. That will probably get the conversation rolling and then it’s a bit of an easier start for you. Either way, YOU CAN DO THIS.

        And you’re making me blush. <3

  2. You’re great, Katie! I’m so glad I met you at BEA last year and it’s going to be super fun this year rooming with the big group and staying at the hotel with lots of other people.

    It’s awesome you brought this up because I think a lot of us have the same problem. I get super nervous about meeting new people too. I’m used to small talk so I have no problem going up to someone and introducing myself and saying hi but then I freeze. I don’t want conversations to go on to a point where it’s awkward and I say the wrong thing so often I’ll stop talking and then like wander away or stand there awkwardly. I worry that the person thinks that I’m being anti-social or don’t want to talk to them which is totally not true. I just don’t know what to say. That’s I think why I like small groups more. For me I think that it’s nice to have another person around to help if there is a lull in the conversation. I’m just generally better in groups rather than one on one but I think that’s just me. You do you.

    It’s cool that you’re going to try to break out of your shell and talk to new people more. I want to do that too. And like I know I’m not new but I’m excited to talk to you more. You can talk about Ziggy all you want. And I love cheese. It’s one of my top three all-time favorite things.

    • Kaitlynn

      I cannot wait to see you again, Cassi! It’s going to be like a giant party!

      It’s funny how I’m starting to realize how common this actually is. You sound exactly like me. I just don’t want things to get to that awkward point so it totally helps to have someone else there to kind of help the conversation along. Small groups help me out a lot.

      I’m excited to get caught up next month. Believe me, I’ll talk your ear off about Ziggy and probably cheese. 🙂

  3. I totally get where you’re coming from. I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and I tend to take things more personally than they are necessarily meant. Which means with blogging, as much as I love it ( and I do love it), I get worried that my posts aren’t getting comments, that I don’t have any close blogging friends, that everyone else seems to be well-known and super tight with each other and I don’t know how to get there.

    So thank you for sharing this, and know that you’re not alone. And that I would love to get to know you better and chat 🙂

  4. I find it really hard to bond with people over twitter and instagram, and even friends in real life I find hard to keep up with. I think as long as you do what you believe in and what you want you’re sure to find similar people who love your blog! Ultimately there is never going to be a blog that every single person who reads it falls in love with, so making your blog your own is the most important thing!

    Steph – http://the-darkness-will-never-win.blogspot.com

  5. Worse social anxiety EVER right here. I swear, you threw me a lifesaver at BEA 2014 when you actually talked to me at the YA party and elsewhere. But my heart races, I sweat, I stammer, I am internally putting myself down when I am around people and all the awkwardness comes pouring out of my mouth… I cannot stand it. Introvert w/ extreme social anxiety. That’s me. YAY…

  6. I’m not always the most socially adept person either, so I feel you. Small talk and introducing myself to people isn’t really my thing. I never went to BEA, but was at ALA once and didn’t even know what to say to the authors besides, “Uh, hi. I loved your book. Bye!” Then I scuttled off.

    I also agree with the increase in people wanting to know the “person behind the blog” or whatever. Recently on a blog survey someone told me to have “more personality” on social media, whatever that means. But I really see no problem with being private, especially with information on the Internet. I don’t share too much about my personal life, and that’s intentional and not likely to change. Hopefully people won’t think that’s a dealbreaker for following or not following a blog.

    • Kaitlynn

      I’m the same way with authors! I don’t know how people have these whole conversations with them. I’m lucky if I can get a whole sentence out. I feel like they are celebrities.

      I was raised to keep things private on the internet and so even having a blog was a stretch for me. I’ve been opening up a bit more lately but it’s still something I kinda force myself to do. I understand where people are coming from but I really want to do what’s right for me and that may or may not be getting personal on the blog. We’ll just see what happens from here on out.

  7. I am the same way. I find myself putting my foot in my mouth when I try to make friends in real life… I do weird things like stutter over words, blush, and suddenly become hard of hearing/misunderstand simple questions. Example, I went to go pick up my husband’s uniform and the guy was filling out a form with his information, asking me questions. He had paused for a second and asked “how old is he?” referring to my baby that I had with me…and I totally asked if the guy meant my husband. As soon as it slipped out of my mouth, I realized he meant the baby. I do socially awkward things like that allllll the time.

    Anyways, I always look forward to your blog posts and especially your BEA haul videos! I don’t think your blog will become irrelevant if you don’t come off as more “personable”. I think blogs have to be authentic to the individual blogger. There are a lot of people that push, for example, for food bloggers to not only talk about each recipe but connect with readers with a personal story. I always struggled with that. But then I have seen a lot of comments from people who say that they don’t like all the “fluff” and just skip straight to the recipe. At the point, I stopped worrying about trying to force words into a post and blogged in the style that I’m comfortable with. So long story short, I say keep doing what you’re doing. I love your blog and the stuff you post! 🙂

    • Kaitlynn

      I admit I totally laughed about the baby/husband mixup. That sounds like something I would do, for sure.

      I’m hoping to do tons of BEA posts so I’m glad somebody will be reading them. 🙂

      I totally get what you mean. Each blogger has to do things for themselves. I’ve gotta keep that in mind and just do what I want and not try to cater to readers since not everyone will love what I post. I guess it only really matters that I love what I post.

  8. This post really speaks to me Katie! I am super shy, awkward and not good talking to people. I SUCK at small talk. So bad. When I’m around people I don’t know well I completely freeze. It feels like I get dry mouth and I can’t think of anything to say. I honestly forget typical things I’d actually know–like what neighborhood I live in. It’s embarrassing so it makes me not want to talk to people.

    I am going next week to my first conference and I don’t know many people that are going. I know a few and I’m terrified they will think I’m creepy and I’ll be alone the whole time. I hope that I mesh well but I’d be lying if I said I’m not horrible nervous! I do much better online than I do in person so I hope that since I’ve talked to some of these folks online it’ll help? I don’t know.

    Regardless, you aren’t alone! I’ve always looked up to you and your blog. I was always too shy to talk to you on twitter but I’ve been trying to get over that so mixed with you trying to open up I think it’s working, lol.

    I wish you well at BEA! I hope you have an excellent time and I hope you can dedicate your blog and IG to the things that interest you.

    • Kaitlynn

      Small talk is the worst. Or maybe I’m just the worst at small talk. Either way, it sucks! I’ve found lately that I tend to stutter a bit when I’m around new people and that’s a new thing for me. I’ve never had this issue until now and it kind of worries me that it has just started to happen. I don’t want to get worse around new people, I want to get better. I’m with you though. It makes me just not want to talk to new people.

      You will have a great time at TLA. Honestly, Texas bloggers are some of the friendliest so I don’t think you’ll have any trouble. And you won’t come across as creepy. I’m sure a lot of them are just like us and probably feel the same way as we do.

      It means a lot to me for you to say that. I’m so glad we’ve started talking more on Twitter and hopefully we can continue to do so. I love your blog!

  9. I seriously feel like we are the same person! I can be so SO awkward at meeting new people and with small talk. And groups, oh my, groups are the worst for me. I can be with a group of people I actually know and I’m still so awkward. It’s like I run out of words and I have no idea what to say! It’s so nice to know that there are people that are shy and quiet just like me! 🙂

    • Kaitlynn

      Small talk is my enemy! Ugh. I just trail off into nothing and eventually end up wandering away very awkwardly. Small groups are okay with me if I know most of the people but large groups are terrible for me. I’m not sure if I appear more awkward one on one or in groups. I may be equally awkward in both settings. Haha.

  10. OMG YES IM THE SAME WAY! I’m such a chicken too. For example today there was a Rechelle Mead book signing at the college and on the way I got all nervous and freaked out and went home. I’ve always wanted to go to BEA or some of the other book conventions but I feel like I wouldn’t connect with anyone especially since my blog isn’t popular AND I would be too nervous to actually do anything I want. I’m forever missing out on awesome opportunities because of my anxiety.

    • Kaitlynn

      Oh no! That’s the worst. I go to most of the signings around me but I don’t usually talk to the authors much or the audience, just the few friends that go too.

      BEA is something to go to at least once in your life if you are a book lover but there are other conferences that aren’t quite so crazy that might be a good place to start. ALA Midwinter or ALA Annual tend to be a little less crazy.

      I don’t think you should feel that way about going though. The conferences are a great way to meet other bloggers and get your blog out there. My first year at BEA, I didn’t know anyone and my blog was so small so I felt like I wouldn’t have a good time but that was wrong. There are a lot of other bloggers just like you that go. Hopefully you can work past some of your anxiety and go to more book signings make it to BEA one day!

  11. Thank you for writing this!! Sometimes I feel like the only one who can’t make besties over Twitter or Instagram. I find it so hard to connect with people over the internet sometimes (and IRL to be honest). It’s nice to know that other bloggers have the same thing going on bc it always seems like everyone is over there having a big Twitter-party-lovefest and I’m just like: Hi?!?

  12. I’m completely the same way. I go to BEA but I pretty much just walk around by myself. Even when I see people I recognize I don’t introduce myself because I am shy and awkward. Every once in a while I say something that comes out completely wrong and sounds ridiculous. I actually think there is someone who makes fun of me loudly every time they see me about something. (this might be my paranoia of my awkwardness). I also have resting bitch face which doesn’t help. So I was look mean when I don’t mean too. I’m glad I’m not the only one like this. My other problem is that sometimes I meet someone and hang out with them at a conference but I’m terrible at keeping the relationship going once it goes back to twitter. I really am not that interesting!

  13. I sometimes come across as bitchy or stuck up but that’s not how I really am. I don’t know how to interact with people I don’t know.

    THIS IS ME. I am so socially awkward. I am an extreme introvert, although most people do not realize this about me. Only those who really know me recognize this. Otherwise, people just think I’m standoffish and a bitch. And I have resting bitch face to boot. I’m even awkward with my own brothers – especially on the phone! I’m still sometimes awkward with the man, and we’ve been together since the end of August. I am horrible at truly keeping up with people. My best friend SINCE KINDERGARTEN just had her second baby and I had no clue until about a month ago, but given, she also did not publicize that fact or share it – even with me. It’s hard to maintain friendships as you grow older and life and your paths divert. I feel like I sometimes have no friends because of how little I keep up with them, see them, etc.

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