Lately I have noticed that interaction with people IN PERSON is actually necessary. I know, this is not much of a discovery to some, possibly most, people. But over the past year, I have been minimizing the “real” time that I spend interacting with people. My mind has been constantly thinking of the next activity on my to do list or what I needed to write in my planner; thus, my interactions with people have been through texting, facebook, and very little face to face contact. When life was such a rush, I didn’t even like taking time to make plans with anyone because it felt like a waste of time.
AND NOW I AM TWICE AS SOCIALLY AWKARD AS I WAS BEFORE! How is this possible? I am not sure… but getting back into hanging out with people, having enjoyable small talk, and non-screen interactions is entirely weird. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO IT.
So, I have decided to put a lot of effort into this social recovery. I was an adorable type of awkward before anxiety took over my life. I like to think that I was somewhat like Jess from New Girl with worse hair and more pants… I want to get back to that. Therefore, I am going to be making an effort to talk, talk, talk to people. I want to have conversations without a keyboard; I want to see people smile because I said something funny; I want to laugh with real sound rather than always mistyping hahaha as hagaha (am I the only one who mispells that?); I want people to know that I care and that I can slow down to communicate with them on the most simple but personal level possible. How am I going to do this?
1. Limit i-phone usage.
– I say this not to say that I don’t want to text or take phone calls. Those are still relatively important, but I will not use my phone to hide from the time, energy, or intentionality that having a real conversation with someone takes.
-I also say this because I do not want to even touch my phone while talking to someone else, even when I am checking out at a store or ordering at a restaurant (it really is rude and I have realized that it makes everything so much less personal).
-Last, the i-phone will not be used when in “familiar areas” (or unfamiliar, due to clumsiness with a lack of knowledge of terrain…). I say this last point because I have noticed that I am always on my phone as I walk through campus, through church, or even sitting in computer labs. I have the worst tunnel vision when it comes to using my phone, and in these areas I am usually around people I know. With my phone, I am pretty much not there and there is no opportunity to socialize and be personable with the people around me.
2. Phone Calls Does this seem to contradictory to number one? Yes, but let me explain. There are a few people who are no longer in my area to actually talk to face to face. Family, or friends who have moved, have been put on the back burner in my life. I am bad at keeping in touch, and an intentional phone call could really help out that area of my life. 3. Compliments The more I get back into social spheres, the more I have realized that compliments are wonderful ice breakers. I love giving compliments and I KNOW that people love receiving them (me included). They are ways to show that you notice something special or different about someone: like a new purse, haircut, or how happy they look. Overall, compliments enhance the conversation and happy feelings!
I want to take time to let people know that I am paying attention to THEM. I LOVE giving compliments, and accomplishing this goal (along with eye contact… which I am bad at) will help aid my socially awkward situation. Lets face it, this is a win win situation. Give a compliment, make someone’s day better. I like your hair. That’s a cool purse, is that new? You look so happy! All good things to make both parties feel engaged in the conversation. Thats all I have for right now! Here’s to being adorably awkward (again).