Do Like Puppies Do
Imagine just getting a cute little Labrador puppy – fluffy, mischievous and down right adorable.
If you’ve ever gotten a new pup, you know that very soon that’s it’s an important part of their growth and training to take them out a socialise with other dogs.
They’ll learn and understand behaviours from different dogs, with the outcome of becoming a well-rounded and well-behaved dog.
Interestingly too, that as a pack animal, unlike human beings, dogs continue to learn from their pack.
Human Beings Have Devolved
Ever thought that you weren’t getting anywhere in your social life?
That maybe other people around you simply ‘aren’t getting you’?
Chances are that you’re suffering from a common ailment of not having enough social expansion, typically when you were younger.
AND you aren’t learning Social Lessons either.
The MasterChef Example
I love the television show of MasterChef and the other night it was evident one of the contestants isn’t liked by anyone else.
It was easy to spot too.
- She doesn’t have any idea of those social graces many of us take for granted
- She took over someone else’s workbench as she thought it suited her better
- She sings and annoys others when they’re trying to concentrate
- She flaps around asking questions she should already know
- Is quite clueless in determining food types for a particular occasion – even I know this
And then I thought of the puppy example.
It was plainly obvious that this woman had missed some important introductory lessons when it came to learning about socialising (or playing well) with others.
She is still a good person at heart, I do want to say here.
Parents At Fault?
Listen, I am going to lay blame on parents here.
Parenting has responsibilities attached.
One of those is to ensure the safety of your children and their eduction into the world so they can, one day, stand on their own.
This is safety and this is education so buckle up parents – did you take your puppies out to properly socialise them?
What About Now?
If you want them to.
The trick in this case is determining whether you are or aren’t a socially inept person.
Whether you are or aren’t, you’ll first answer NO WAY simply because you don’t know what you don’t know.
Read that again:
Ask yourself these questions and answer honestly to yourself:
- Do you feel kind of nervous in the social settings you’ve been to?
- Do you find a lack of conversation flow with people you interact with?
- Do you tend to lack an understanding of social norms like what an appropriate way to behave in a certain situation?
- Do you find people tend to avoid you or maybe even ridicule you (like my MasterChef example)
- Does you conversations tend to have the wrong impact like a joke coming across as uncalled for or maybe a compliment being found distasteful?
Mr or Mrs Socially Awkward – You’re in Luck
Hey, lots of people get a little antsy when there’s lots of people around or they’re in unfamiliar surroundings so you’re definitely not on your own here.
Develop Social Foundation and Confidence
Once you’re aware that you do need help, that’s the first step and you’re to be congratulated in taking it.
Since you’re now self-aware of the confidence lack, fake it til you make it.
You’re now in practise mode so it is important to want to get into more social situations. You are now relaunching a more confident you.
Research Social Norms
Everyone needs to understand boundaries in social settings.
You just haven’t learned what is acceptable in different scenarios, is all and that’s OK. You don’t know what you don’t know.
This is an area that would cover volumes, in itself so do a little research such as:
Stanford University Paper on Social Norms
Practise, Practise, Practise
Like the heading says:
The more you want to break an old habit, the more you practise the change, the better and confident you’ll become.
Buddy up with a friend who is already confident and get out there to meet new people.
Make conversation and ask your friend to critique your progress afterwards as well as offer suggestions on what you might have done wrong AND especially what you did right.
Fine tune as you go along and you’ll discover a new socially confident YOU in no time at all.
Speak Your Mind, With Your Opinion
Nice to see you made it to the end of the post. Here’s what you can do next:
- How do you overcome social anxiety?
- Do you know anyone like this you could help?
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