Small confession here: I’m an introvert. Basically, that means I like my own company more than others’ because I’m self-centered and freaking awesome. However, I made a shocking discovery: I can be pretty awkward around people. That dreaded silence chokes me with thoughts like, “What do I say?” “Does the other person thing it’s awkward?” “What?!? Don’t stare at them while you’re thinking! God! Now they think you’re a weirdo. GOOD JOB.” Then I come out with a stuttery saying like, “Uh, it’s b- b- been hot lately.” Duh, you dim-wit. That’s Texas weather, stupid.
So I went out of my way to be less awkward. Notice how I named this segment PART 1, with the assumption that one day I will be a charismatic social butterfly and I can help other awkward clowns that are in cocoons to come out already. (Not out of the closet, though. I’m not a huge fan of forced confessions.)
Acknowledge the awkward. I noticed this kind of helps with people you just met and that stupid mutual friend left the room. Instead of staring at them but trying not to stare at them, just acknowledge that it’s awkward. “My god, I hate awkward silences. It’s like saying goodbye to a good friend and then heading in the same direction. Has that ever happened to you?” If the person says no, say jokingly, “Has someone ever told you that your antisocial?” Point is, ask questions. It’ll get them talking.
Tip: Question of the Day. I started this after noticing that some of my favorite YouTubers leave a question after their video for the subscribers to talk about in the comment section. Well, if something can be done in social media, five bucks it can be done in real life. (Mmm… maybe not. Poking someone in real life randomly can be pretty creepy- and awkward. Awkward is what you’re trying to get away from, right?) Anywho, I started writing questions that every human being can answer- and it reveals something about their personality. It helps to have an agenda to write down the questions as you come up with them and make it a routine thing- even with your friends. It’s kind of a conversation starter.
Fancy Schmancy Examples:
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve eaten?
What’s the weirdest dream you’ve had?
If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be?
Do you sing in the shower?
What would you do if you weren’t scared of anything?
What do you think Victoria’s secret IS?
If you could make out with any celebrity, who would it be… of the same gender?
What’s the funniest pick up line that you know?
If you could star in a TV show, what show would it be?
Would you work for the NSA? FBI? CIA? Any organization with the same amount of letters and the same purpose as SPY?
etc, etc, etc. I casually bring it up as, “Oh, do you wanna hear my question of the day?” It has made me slightly more sociable and less awkward. I give my own responses to the question sometimes to give the person suggestions.