I get it. You’re an introvert, and you have trouble hanging out with large groups of people — especially when they start sniffing around your attic door because they’re pretty sure they heard a person in there. People are hard. They’re hard to read, hard to follow, and it’s hard to know if they actually want to hang out with you or if they’re gonna ditch you last minute for a soirée at the local pub instead of coming to your three-week-long party at Thornfield Hall. Hopefully, though, I can give you some advice for navigating the uncharted, dangerous Sargasso Sea of social life so you don’t wind up back on Bertha Mason’s front doorstep.
1. Not everything is about you.
Shocking, isn’t it?
Remember that unless you’re really close to someone, you usually don’t know everything that’s going on in a person’s life, and often things are never as simple and happy-go-lucky as they seem. So don’t throw a hissy fit and get all broody when they say they can’t come over and talk about your vintage Caribbean rum collection all evening.
2. Not everything is about vintage Caribbean rum.
Try and suggest outings or activities that appeal to everybody, especially when you’re still getting to know someone. Everyone likes a good coffee shop chat. Or laser tag. And once you start being buds, then you can break out that cracking bottle of ’34 Chȃteau Coulibri. And then go laser tag. Because laser tag.
3. Come out of Thornfield Hall every once in a while. I get it; it’s a pretty killer house, but seriously.
I know sunlight can be a little scary, especially when your face is all craggy and broody and bestiel because apparently you never shave or look in a mirror. But it’s actually good for you, and fresh air can change your entire day. Fresh air is also where people are a lot of the time. The more people see you, the more they know that you’re around and down to hang and not drowning under the weight of your own astute and perfected broodiness.
4. The French really know how to party, but take it easy.
Once you do decide to venture out into society and society’s soirées, have some restraint. Remember that these aren’t like the parties you throw, where the main activities are semi-incestuous flirting and playing chess to avoid making eye contact with each other. Feel things out, learn your limits, and don’t overdo it — because next thing you know you’ll be the guardian of a charming little girl that you’re pretty sure isn’t actually your child. And take it slow with that Caribbean rum because it can pack a pretty hefty punch, and you don’t want to do something like, I don’t know, set your own bed on fire.
5. Secrets make things worse, not better.
Honesty is always the best policy, even if you’ve got a “crazy” first wife who keeps trying to kill you because, oh yeah, you locked her in an attic for twenty years. Don’t hide any part of yourself just for the sake of trying to be “normal.” “Normal” is overrated. Although, maybe a dose of “normal” would be good for you because of the whole attic thing. And what’s the best way to find your “normal”? Make some friends. Find your people. They’ll keep you a whole lot more balanced than that Caribbean rum and that obsession with bird metaphors ever did.
So, there are your keys to success. Now you don’t have an excuse to keep hiding behind the comfy walls of your family estate. If Rochester can somehow wind up with a circle of friends, so can you.