How Soccer Hooligans are Bringing a Recluse Out of Her Shell

Okay, I suppose I’m not actually at the level of being a recluse, but I definitely have a hard time in social situations. I don’t do well conversing with people I don’t know well. The art of easy conversation is difficult and intimidating. What if I have long, awkward pauses, because I cannot think of a single thing to say to this person? And I will, without fail.

My husband and I are members of a soccer supporter group in Detroit, which means that we often go to games and other events, where I am by definition in close quarters with a very large number of people with whom I am not very well acquainted. We’ve been doing this for long enough now that I am actually, FINALLY, becoming more comfortable just hanging out in the same space as so many people. I know a lot of them well enough now that, while I may not be able to carry on conversation adeptly, I am aware that they don’t think I’m some strange, awkward person, or if they do, they mean it as a compliment.

When we go to events that are not soccer games, I often bring my computer or a notebook and at least attempt to get some writing done. It’s really very comforting to me, even if I don’t manage to get much work done, because I know that if the crowd ever does get too overwhelming for me, I can dial myself back into my own world for a while.

We went to a party to watch an away game at a bar today, and I used this tactic. I wasn’t actually feeling overwhelmed at all, and to be honest, it was probably the most comfortable I’ve been at one of these events so far. I set myself up at a table with my writing, put one earbud in so I could listen to my “writing music” (despite the noise of being in a bar), and did some writing. Did some people watching. Did some more writing. Actually conversed with people other than my husband.

Also made $25 selling the last five copies of the first edition of my novel ‘Singer’ to these guys.

They’re really a good bunch of people, and if you happen to be in the Detroit area and interested in soccer, you should look them up. The Northern Guard Supporters for Detroit City Football Club.

Even if you’re a shy introvert who likes to stay inside. They don’t bite, I promise.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Abram Chamberlain
    Jun 09, 2014 @ 08:21:28

    Reblogged this on The Gulf Coast Armada and commented:
    This has to do with DCFC and their Northern Guard, but this is what I would love to have along the Gulf Coast. It may take a bit, but hopefully one day we get tot his level.

    Reply

  2. Hawaiian Punch
    Jun 09, 2014 @ 13:23:35

    We love that you’re one of us (one of us…one of us…)!

    Reply

  3. Lori L MacLaughlin
    Jun 13, 2014 @ 22:40:00

    I, too, find it hard to talk to people I don’t know well. I’m not a person who likes to talk about myself, so sometimes I just can’t think of anything to say. I also tend to feel overwhelmed by large crowds. I keep working on it, though, and hope at some point I’ll get better at it.

    Reply

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