WEVE ALL FELT IT. You dont know what
to say or what to do. You feel too aware of yourself and how
youre standing, how youre looking, what you sound
like. If you have teenagers, you know they feel it intensely.
And some of the things teens do that seem so incomprehensible
to parents stem from a simple desire to avoid feeling socially
Although its very natural to feel
awkward around people you dont know very well, it isnt
pleasant or productive. Here are two practical things anyone
can do to feel more socially comfortable:
Relax your muscles. This
makes you calmer. Most people dont have any problem at
all being social around people when theyre relaxed. Thats
why social gatherings have traditionally served alcoholic beverages:
It relaxes people. Find a muscle in your body that feels a little
tense and consciously relax that muscle. You will instantly feel
more at ease.
Make it your mission to help the other
person feel more comfortable. Make
conversation easy for the other person by asking questions
shell enjoy answering. Find out the persons name,
whether shes from this area, or if shes not, where
shes from. Her answers will probably stimulate other questions
and conversation. How about her family: Do they live in this
area? Big family? Brothers and sisters? What do they do? How
about work? What does she do for a living? Does she like it?
What got her into it? How about travel? What parts of the world
has she seen? Any hobbies? Listen with interest. Let her know
you like what shes saying. Help her feel comfortable.
That is basically six areas to talk about:
name, home, family, work, travel, hobbies. Memorize that list
of six topics, and when the time comes, the questions will come
to mind easily, keeping the conversation lively and smooth. A
smooth and lively conversation will put the other person at ease
which will make you feel more comfortable.
Youll probably never get to all six
of the topics because as the other person starts talking, youll
find points of interest youll want to know more about,
and the two of you will start talking about that, and off youll
go into Conversation Land.
Youll get to know the person and
have a wonderful time and youll just forget to feel awkward
because you can only feel awkward when youre self-conscious.
As you become increasingly conscious of the other person, you
become less conscious of yourself and your awkwardness disappears.
Relieve your social awkwardness by relaxing
and concerning yourself with helping the other person
feel comfortable. People will love you for it.
Relax your muscles and make
it your mission
to help the other person feel more comfortable.