Tis the season for parties. Christmas parties, New Year’s parties, Hanukkah parties, Ramadan parties, Kwanzaa parties, you get the point? Lots of parties at the end of the year. And even if you’re not a party-goer, there are the inevitable, semi-dreaded family parties that we must all attend. This is every socially inept person’s nightmare. A room full of people, full of questions that you don’t want to be asked, much less answer? Thanks, but no thanks.
I’ll admit that I’m not entirely socially handicapped, but we all have our moments, don’t we? So, I’m going to throw you a bone. I’m going to give you some tips to utilize in the face of a horribly uncomfortable social encounter.
Being Social, for the Socially Awkward:
1. Laugh! If you laugh at how ridiculously awkward you are, nobody will think you’re nearly as dorky as you are. Or maybe they will, but at least you’re a dorky person who knows how to laugh at themselves!
2. Ask about the other person. “Hey, I like your shirt, where did you get it?” or “How’s your cat doing?” will take you a long way. People love feeling like they’re interesting. So if you can remember even one tiny thing about the person you’re speaking to, cling to it. Utilize it. Prosper.
3. Find a happy medium with eye contact. If you stare at one single person too hard, they’re either going to think that you’re trying to keep from being sick, or that you’re creepy and may or may not attempt to kill them later. So tone it down. On the other hand, if you don’t make any eye contact at all, they’re going to think they’re boring you and that you’ve lost interest. And maybe you are bored and disinterested, but don’t be a jerk. At least pretend. Find your happy medium, friends.
4. Pretend that you’re not the most awkward person on the planet. If you can envision yourself as a suave, well-spoken human, chances are you can pretend you’re a suave, well-spoken human for two hours. You got it. This is a beautiful example of fake it ’til you make it.
5. Be confident. If all else fails, and you really are a cringe-worthy wreck, be a confident cringe-worthy wreck. Nobody can resist the natural charm of someone who knows full well that they’ve just said the weirdest thing they could’ve possibly said. Smile and I guarantee nobody will give you the dreaded stink-eye. And if they do, you probably didn’t want to talk to them anyway.
None of these work for you? You know what, it’s okay. There are plenty of people on this planet who will love how weird you are. They think that weird thing you just said is the funniest thing they’ve heard all night, and at least you can keep life interesting. So really, if you’re awkward, turn it loose and see what happens. People might love you for it! And let’s be honest, you’ll never be as weird as that uncle who wears muscle shirts and thinks he can pull off a ponytail. So take solace in that, at least.
Thanks for reading this week, frans.
We’re all a little funky, y’know?