- 4 years ago
Hi Hive, so I would like honest input into a sticky (yet tough) situation. I really love my future fiance and look forward to marriage. He has dropped BIG hints that I can expect a Christmas proposal so I am excited. The only tough situation is that we spend a lot of time together just hanging out, etc. It is only when we are in a social setting that I cringe b/c my boyfriend is not the best at making conversation. I guess some ppl would say he is “socially awkward”? He tends to talk about himself a lot, he will bring up sort of random topics, and generally does not seem very comfortable b/c he just rambles without really listening to what the other person is saying or letting them get a word in edgewise. I try to involve him in conversations so that he will not feel left out, but after a few years of witnessing pretty awkward exchanges I am at a loss. Now, I know that I can’t change him and truthfully I don’t want him to change b/c he is sweet, loving and kind, but it is kind of hard to watch b/c I can tell he is super nervous and I can also tell that the other person involved in the conversation is not at ease either.
I guess I bring it up b/c over the Thanksgiving holiday we went to visit my brother and with just the 3 of us it was a little paintful. Maybe I can give an example: my boyfriend talked almost non-stop from the moment we sat down about his recent move to another state, what was going on at his job while he was off work, and a few other random topics. Most didn’t really invite conversation, or engage in small talk, he would just make comments like “I’m missing my ______ meeting today.” Well, what can you say to that? “Oh, ok.” It was hard for my bro to get a word in and after we left I talked to my boyfriend in a loving way like “honey, sometimes I can sense that you are nervous and I think it causes you to talk a lot, but it might be nice to let the other person tell you a little about what is going on with them, too.” (just paraphrasing, but you get the point)
He listens when I’ve offered these comments b/f, but I just don’t think it is easy for him to talk to other ppl besides me and when we get into another social setting we are in the same position. I’m not a communication afficianado and I struggle sometimes like everyone else, but I look to improve on it everyday and try to read body language to see if the person is engaged, drifting off, etc. Unfortunately, my boyfriend doesn’t seem to notice and the person eventually just walks away – I’ve seen this happen many times. I just don’t want him to come across as “all about himself” b/c I know that is not his personality. I really think he is just super nervous and a little insecure. I’ve even offered tips in the past like – ask someone a question that they can answer if you find yourself searching for something to say or ppl like to talk about their lives so ask about the job, kids, house, their fave football team, etc. such as “how are things going with that new project you started in the yard?” or “do you have a recommendation for ____”? Or, in a job interview look around the room and try to find something to connect with like you went to the same school, etc.
Can I do anything else? It also happens with family, friends, random ppl we meet, co-workers and I am at a loss.