Much like the proverbial cat that is both dead and alive inside the box, I am both uncomfortable around strangers, but I don’t mind public speaking. If I have to give a speech or a presentation, I’m alright, mostly because I don’t have a choice in the matter. I don’t know if I’d do it voluntarily. That said, I actually enjoy public speaking in the sense that I enjoy sharing knowledge with people about a topic they might not know much about. In college, I had to give a presentation on paranoid schizophrenia, and I remember walking away from that feeling really good about myself.
However, I also get very anxious in public situations where I don’t know anyone. That’s why I don’t go out to bars/clubs or really parties of any kind where I don’t know at least four people invited as well. I’ve always been uncomfortable around strangers because I’m not good with small talk. I don’t have the ability to just walk up to someone and start chatting them up. I wish I did. I might have a boyfriend by now. For me to really talk to someone and get to know them, they have to approach me first, and they have to want to talk about something more interesting or in-depth than the weather or Kim Kardashian. Politics is out because you never know if the other person is okay with talking to someone on the opposite side of the spectrum, same with religion. Current events is alright, sports is great, especially if it’s baseball season, music/movies/TV/books are always good….but yeah. I don’t do good with talking to people I don’t know most of the time.