I am trying to figure out exactly where my weaknesses lie when it comes to socializing.
A few years ago, I was more "awkward." If someone asked me a simple question, I would scuff up the answer, mix up my words, not make eye contact, etc. Also I would (unintentionally) be rude. For example, someone says how are you and I don't ask them back.
Nowadays, if someone approaches me, I can look them in the eyes, answer and communicate clearly, etc. I still cannot banter, make jokes, add "friendliness" to the conversation, and so on. But I can appear confident, which is progress from a few years ago.
A few of my other flaws:
-I am not good at "walk-by" conversations. If someone is walking past me and they say "Hi, how are you?" I have about 3 seconds before they are out of earshot to respond. It will take me 5 seconds for my usual response of "Hey, I'm good, how are you?" I do not know what to do, so I end up morphing "Hey, I'm good, how are you?" into a incomprehensible respond.
-I cannot wave or raise my voice to talk to people. A few weeks ago at church, a girl (not church girl btw) said "Hi Noah," and I was only able to smile at her and look away. She thinks I ignored her, but in reality, she made two mistakes. First, I was standing with my family. I do not speak to people outside my family, when I am around my family. Also, the girl was 5~ feet away, so I would have had to raise my voice slightly in order to respond to her saying hello to me.
Also many times in the past, girls will wave to me or dudes will nod at me, and I cannot respond. Recently, my head nod has improved, but my wave is still unacceptable.
-I obviously cannot approach people without purpose. If you approach someone, it is natural that you should be the one to lead the conversation. Therefore I cannot approach people, because I cannot lead the conversation.