Guide for the Socially Awkward – One

May 31, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Posted in Guide for the Socially Awkward | Leave a comment
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Hi guys, it’s been ten days. I’ve been making an effort. Seriously! I will highlight the events of last week-ish and see if I did anything to improve being less socially awkward. I’ll also highlight some of the stuff I didn’t do so well and how to improve on those parts.

LONG POST, BUT IT’S WORTH IT.

1. How to approach people and talk to them!

I have to say, I’m pretty proud of myself in this one. Lemme recount what happened, I want to brag because this is a personal success.

So it goes: one Wednesday night, I message my friend asking if she was going to go to debating the following night.

WAIT, I need to provide you guys with some context. This is very important understand the situation. hur. And yes, I’m in the debating club at uni. Basically, I’m quite introverted and I HATE SPEECHES. I don’t know how to emphasize that enough. My team-drag mark in English was my speeches. ARGH. Anyways. I hate them to the core so I must admit I’m a slight masochist in regards to the fact that I willingly throwing myself out into a club which makes me prepare and present a six-minute speech each week. And I had to pay 10NZD to join for the whole year too! Whoopee! I joined mainly because I wanted to try improve my speaking skills and be more outgoing. Quite a few times during this semester, I’ve always thought to myself: “WHAT THE FUCK WAS I THINKING!”

Back to my story, my friend messages me and says that she’s stuck in Wellington (she went down there for some form of awards ceremony for all them scholarships she got) due to bad weather.

So here I thought. Cool! This is a perfect excuse to ditch going to debating and stay at home, procrastinate, sleep, eat. Some personal me time. But then I thought. Wait up! I should be independent and try socialize with my club. (I usually just talk to my friend and nobody else.)

And so I went to the debating meeting. And I sat there. Alone. All by myself. -cue Celine Dion- for about ten minutes. There was no wi-fi in that part of the university. I was alone.

THEN! <—- *please think of some sort of triumphant fanfare*

I see this girl walk into the room and she arrived alone. Normally, because I’m an introvert, I wouldn’t give a second glance and continue to fiddle with my phone. I like reading fanfic. And I had a fanfic app. Sooooo0 yeah.

Fanfic > stranger’s company any day!

But I thought, I really need to work on my socializing skills. So I sat up straighter and put my phone away.

So why did I sit up straighter? I don’t know if it’s just me, but if someone is slouching, they look kind of unapproachable. So this is me trying to make a good impression. Body language is important, and I read somewhere online, that if your body language is more open, it’s like a subconscious invitation for people to approach you.

And the phone thing is kind of intuitive. Or should I say counter-intuitive. I am a master of avoiding social interaction. And might I say, the best ways to do that is to (this is with a phone, the list would get way too long sans phone):

A) Jam in your earphones and close your eyes and act like you’re sleeping
B)  Be on the phone with someone
C) Pretend to be texting someone/act busy on your phone

<— these are btw, not in any particular order

so wanting to invite more social interaction in this occassion, I put my phone away.

Then I gave a smile at her, which I hoped to  be friendly.

This is me.

Anyways, SUCCESS. She came and approached me. I felt like I won a war. After that I started talking to her.

Points I covered (generic stuff) Useful for people

1. Do you come to debating club often? + comment: look how there’s very little people here when there’s no free food! (Our pizza budget went to paying for people’s fuel for their competition or something.)

2. What do you study? -> prompted by the bridge thing she was holding. Then we had that small talk of “oh, what you’re studying is so cool” kind of thing.

3.  Where do you come from? Blah blah. I complain about my commuting time, how I hate the bus etc. She talks about her circumstances.

4. How we think of university life, since we’re both first years.

At this point, TWENTY WHOLE MINUTES HAD PASSED. There weren’t TOO many awkward pauses. We got put into the same team for debating coincidentally and we started talking about that instead.

I think the most awkwardest part was when I forgot to introduce myself, and never asked for her name. So it was about the fifteen minute mark, that I realized I didn’t know her name and I hadn’t bothered telling her mine. I was wondering how to slip it in casually. But hur. A++ for first attempt! Luckily, since we got put in the same team for debating, I learnt her name and then she learnt mine.

>>>> FAST FOWARD TO NEXT SESSION >>>>>

She remembered my name! T____T You don’t know how happy I am for that. I think throughout the whole of high school only two teachers remembered my name. Otherwise, I was generic Asian girl with pony-tail no. ####

So yes. Points to remember:

1. Force yourself to be alone WITHOUT YOUR ELECTRONIC DEVICE
2. Open body language.
3. Smile (nicely) <- something I have yet to master. I took a photo with my baby cousin and some random aunty (at church) looked at the picture and said I looked evil in it. Albeit she said it jokingly, this sort of nonchalant comment really does blow my self-esteem through the roof. [/sarcasm]
4. When talking about stuff, complain a lot. Ok. Maybe not a lot. Not to the point where you’re whiny. But throw something out which displeases you and see how they react to it. If they’re like “YEAH OMG, WTFBBQ ME TOOOOOO!!!” then complain more. Otherwise, move on. I’m pretty sure if you’re anything like me, you’ll have plenty to pick at.
5. Try slip your name somewhere when talking to them. Because the chances and the awkwardness of trying to find out their name just increases exponentially with each passing minute.

Then I also managed to talk to someone in one of my classes. I don’t know her name, she didn’t know mine. But we sat together for a lab and we mulled over the questions together. Guess that’s a good start?

2. How to dress better “Because the Outside Counts as Much as the Inside” (BOCMI)

Context: My face is average. I’m short and I haven’t grown since I was in intermediate… if I do exercise, I get muscular really easily. If I don’t, my ‘abs turn into flab’ at the blink of the eye. It’s winter right now, so I’m going to call this my bulking season.

I’m one of those people who could walk right past you and you wouldn’t even notice. Usually I use that to my advantage.  I’ve never gotten a late detention in high school. I arrived at around 9am while homeroom starts at 8:25am. My friends notice, but then other than that, nothing.

So this week, I went to get my eyebrows shaped. Unfortunately, I am not blessed with eyebrows that are perfectly nice, they’re on the bushy side. And they’re shaped really strangely. Not a monobrow or anything like that, but they’re there, there, there. Then! Suddenly there’s this patch. A bald spot. And then it continues for a bit and then my eyebrows end. I was born with it, and I can’t do much about it. I went to get them done because I wanted to look clean, and I guess getting rid of excess facial hair is the right way to start. Give me a pat on the back. 😀

3) How to not be so derpy

This is my downfall. It’s raining and I hate getting wet. So I ran. I’m quite a fast sprinter. Must be the Ninja blood running through my veins. (and I didn’t have an umbrella with me… so smart!!)

Anyways:

I must look where I go so I don’t crash or bump into people.
I must look where I go so I don’t crash or bump into people.
I must look where I go so I don’t crash or bump into people.
I must look where I go so I don’t crash or bump into people.

I’m blaming it on the weather, my derpiness for this week went up. -1 for Team Me.

4) What to do in ___ situations.

I have a problem of fumbling with coins on the bus/cashier. I still haven’t found the method on handling them. BUT as an alternative, if I use my cashflow card I don’t need to fumble with coins. I just need to make sure I press the right buttons.

Solved a minor problem?

For next time!

1) How to approach people and talk to them –  Try talk to more people if the opportunity arises. Try not be creepy or too calculative.

2) How to dress better – Figure out how to stay warm and not look like a marshmallow snowman.

Oh right. My friend asked me one day: why do you look so sad?

Me: That’s my normal face.

<- so I guess, that’s one thing I have to work on. Look happier! Figure out how to smile. I’ll get back to you on that.

3) How to not be so derpy – Don’t know if there’s a cure, but I’ll work on it. I’m going to bring my umbrella so I don’t crash into people anymore.

4) What to do in ___ situations – we’ll tackle this when the situation comes. Don’t hold your breath.

Guide for the Socially Awkward – Preamble

May 21, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Posted in Guide for the Socially Awkward | Leave a comment
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Ok, I’m going to try and do a weekly running theme. To help my fellow brethren get past this wall of social awkwardness that I’m trying to scale right now too.

Little background information about myself. I’m 18 this year, and have been feeling pretty cheated of life as of now. When I was 11 I thought high school would be epic, you know, with romance and drama. I got all that…. only that it was in the form of media on a computer or TV screen. I’ve never even been to a party-party. OK, maybe I was wrong to expect my life to be like Gossip Girl or something, but really? I spent my last few birthdays playing board games. Board games like Scrabble and Dixit. I can guarantee they’re lovely games. But these are my spring years, I ought to act in an uncouthly manner. Y’know with drinking, partying and bad mistakes. 

So I’ve hit college (or university, whatever you want to call it.) and it finally took me now to realize, NOTHING IS EVER GOING TO CHANGE IF I CONTINUE TO ACT LIKE THIS.

And so, I’m going to try be more social, watch me fall fly. Hence, this is going to be more of a introspective kind of thing. But I wanted to write it on a public platform for people to read because a) I want to help out my fellow socially inept comrades (you can learn from my experiences, be it good or bad.) and b) I feel like I’m slightly insane when I write in my diary. You know that no one is ever going to read it, yet you write it out as though someone would. As if your diary is some sort of entity that reads what you wrote. So, hm. 

Stuff that I hope I will be able to find out.

1) How to approach people and talk to them

2) How to dress better

3) How to not be so derpy

4) What to do in ___ situations.

First one is quite simple, I will count it as a success if I can talk to a complete stranger and carry a conversation for at least three minutes (was thinking of five, but let’s not bite off more than we can chew.) Stuff to do include righting my body language, getting better self-esteem, and learning how to respond to people’s signals. hoho. If only it was so simple!

Second one: Buy nicer clothes??? 

Third -> this one is really hard. And I think it’d help if I defined what I mean by derpy. I think this was one of the most embarrassing and derpy moments for me (in the past year.) I’m glad no one I have to associate with (who aren’t one of my close friends–they have already accepted me for who I am, thank God…) is reading this.

Okay. So basically, I was getting some form of recognition in high school and it involved me walking across stage. You have to shake the (deputy) head boy/girl, principal etc  hands… so I walked up the stage semi-gracefully. I didn’t trip up the stairs as one girl before me did. Good job right there! And I just walked across stage. See where the problem was? I literally just walked across the stage and didn’t shake any of the people’s hands. In fact, I didn’t even notice what I was doing (or what I wasn’t doing) before the head boy hissed my name and then I doubled back to shake their hands. I don’t know what I was doing or what I wasn’t doing. And so here you go. My definition of derp/derpiness/derpy is more of the state of unawareness to my surroundings or situations… which makes me a really, really awkward person when I’m trying to be concious of my environment. <- this sentence is awkward.

Number four. This is more like the bonus section, what the Japs call omake. ;D I want to learn how to respond to certain situations. ie. when people sing Happy Birthday to you, where do you look? How do you go about putting cash back into your wallet without dropping all your coins?

That sort of thing.

So that’s sort of the parameters of my goals/direction I want to take. I’ll try be more proactive this week. We’ll see… exams are in three weeks. Might put this off. Dun dun dun. Don’t hold your breath.

Final words of wisdom for the preamble, it’s a snappy comeback my friend said to me. An assignment mark was supposed to come back on the 15th or something, and she spend the whole day waiting. This is the conversation that took place.

Me: Don’t worry, the night is still young. 

Friend:  Yeah but our facilitators aren’t. They’re probs in bed right now.

May the awkwardness leave your side and be replaced with social dexterity!

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