How do I remember how to act normal while my normal life is on hold?
April 2, 2010 4:35 PM Subscribe
How can someone who never leaves home and who is dependent on others keep her social skills from deteriorating?
posted by TEA to human relations (9 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I have been on modified bedrest for over a month now, and it looks like I’ll be in this situation for at least a few more months. This means that I should be mostly horizontal most of the time. It also means that I can’t do a lot of things that are usually part of my everyday life, such as lifting anything that weighs more than, say, a hardcover book or being on my feet long enough to cook a big meal.
I am dealing with not going out except for doctor visits, not being physically active, keeping myself busy with things that I am allowed to do, and working from home. However, I’m concerned that my social skills are getting rusty. For example, I find myself far chattier (and far more off-topic) than usual during phone calls for work and a bit more self-centered than usual in conversations with friends and family.
The people who I see are usually doing something for me when I see them. My parents have been making long trips to my home so that they can drive me to doctor appointments. Mr. TEA has been doing the home-related stuff that I used to do. Friends who come by bring food. I am very thankful, and I thank them profusely, but then I end up rambling on about myself and my exciting life on modified bedrest.
Y’know that aunt you have who has been living alone for twenty years, who expects you to run errands for her, who never stops talking about her aches and pains, and who seems to get weirder and crankier every time you see her? That’s what I’m worried about becoming. Granted, I’ll be back to something more like my normal life by autumn, but autumn is a long time away, and I’d rather not have to go through an awkward re-entry period when the time comes.
What advice for making conversation, being a thoughtful friend and coworker, and being a gracious hostess do you have for someone whose face-to-face social contact is very limited? How can someone who is alone at home for most of the day remember how to be social? How can I keep myself from becoming annoying to the people who are going out of their way to take care of me?