I am a master at background dissolving. I don't know if that's a thing, but I can make it a thing, right?
At first, this skill was a matter of survival--we moved around a lot and, being a self-consciously introverted kid, it was so much easier to hide in the bathroom, the dark classroom, the library than it was to risk the wilderness of the lunchroom, the crowded halls. And though the fear of discovery isn't really worth the hiding, the ability to observe while unobserved taught me more than barreling through the halls, announcing my presence.
Although, in retrospect, the latter probably would have been better for my social development. Ah, well.
Then in college, I was suddenly popular. It was a shock, and I didn't know what to do with it. I was still uncomfortable, but I was loud, I think, to cover social awkwardness. I remember an older student, a grad student--marvelous and self-possessed, easy and gracious and graceful--pulling me aside at a party one night and saying in my ear, "Subtlety, Amy. Remember everything is subtlety."
And I do remember. That advice was worth (almost) the price of undergrad admission. So I try for subtlety. I usually only remember it after the fact, unless, by some miracle, I remain mindful during my interaction that day. I'm still learning, and sometimes that makes me so tired. But that's what we're here for, after all.
Subtly, of course.