I Can People, Too!

That’s it. I am absconding with the word “peopling” or “to people”. Usually, one uses this word in reference to adding a population to an area. Whether it’s God filling the Earth with humans, or creating a colony in a new place. I’d like to add a new definition:

People: [pee-puh l] v. 1. successfully interacting with other human beings in a predictable manner. 2. appearing in a socially acceptable manner at a gathering or party. 3. to clearly communicate needs and desires between two persons. 4. to traverse a sensitive interpersonal situation without causing undo offense.

I have a hell of a time peopling some days. Usually it’s because I’m super anxious about how people are judging me. I start trying too hard. Because I’m focusing so hard on being a good people-er, I miss the important stuff, like dates, or numbers. Of course, those details become critical later in the conversation, proving to everyone that I’m absolutely terrible at peopling. At most parties I feel like:

Image: Rory Bristol

Image: Rory Bristol

The awkwardness compounds over every mistake. I feel more and more pressure to people properly, until I’m standing there with a fake smile on my face, nodding to show I’m paying attention, and awkwardly walking away as soon as nobody is looking at me directly. If someone asks where I’m going, I just say, “I wanted to see what’s going on over there.”

Some days, I feel successful if I make a phone call, and the other person doesn’t think I’m a broken robot. Other days, I’m glad if I didn’t walk into the room with my dick out. It takes all kinds of days, right?

Today, I’m celebrating ordering my birthday cake without feeling like a complete idiot. I did get an odd look when I asked for a My Little Pony cookie cake with pink icing reading, “Happy birthday, Rory the Awesome!” After the clerk took it all down, I realized that he thought the cake was for a girl named Rory. Here I was preparing myself to explain that I do, in fact, like MLP, and that “the Awesome” was a title added to my name by someone else, and this guy is just like, “Sounds good!”


I’m going to mark this day in my diary, because I feel awesome. That is all. Go about your peopling, or your people-hood, or whatever.

Share if it spoke to you!