In campus ministry, I’m constantly in social situations- and awkward convos can be par for the course. Here’s an actual conversation I had once:
Overly Excited Me: HI! IM KATIE! OMG WHAT’S YOUR NAME?!?!!!!!!!!!!
OEM: WOW! WHAT ARE YOU STUDYING?!?!?!
OEM:OOOH! WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO AFTER YOU GRADUATE?
*Name changed to protect the innocent.
But I thought- hey, we are all in lots of social places- whether that’s the gym, preschool pick up time, church… I thought I’d share a few of my favorite tips for surviving any social situation….
1.Always stand by the drinks at parties . This way you get to see everyone at the party but you don’t get stuck in a an awk convo in the corner.
2. Never be with out Motrin (or your OTC pain reliever of choice). .You’ll either be a lifesaver to yourself or to other people. Either way, you’re a hero.
3. Listen to NPR and read random articles. This one is actually double helpful. Either you’ll have an arsenal of great conversations starters OR you’ll super impress someone who has a rando hobbie that you can actually talk about!
Story: Last year I listened to a random podcast on the economical/political situation in South America while raking leaves. Two weeks later, I met a girl who had studied abroad in Argentina and we had TONS to talk about.
4. Act like everyone is already your best friend/you own the room. I don’t mean in a snotty way but more in a “Hey I’d love to know more about you & I’m pretty fun” sort of way.
5. Opt for interest enthusiasm vs insulting. This is one that you will have to learn from my mistakes. Some times I get too excited and get sarcastic & weird. Don’t do that. It’s they whole flies/honey/vinegar thing.
6. Ask people a million questions about themselves and ACTUALLY BE INTERESTED! Like I said, sometimes I get a little excited and I talk too much…so this is one I’m working on too. It’s important to remember that everyone loves talking about themselves and every one wants some one to be interested in them- make someone’s day! This can double for #3 too- if you learn a lot about someone, you may be able to use it in a convo later. (ie “I met this girl who was an Olympic fish wrestler once…)
7. If a party is failing, introduce some competition. Whether it’s a board game or a cheerleading talent show, competition always breeds camaraderie and is a certified memory maker.
8. Be you! Do you! You are a cool, unique person that people want to know! Push your self out of your comfort zone to let people know that!
Have anything that’s worked for you? Let me know!!