4 simple tricks for an introvert to avoid awkward social situations


Last Updated on 2016-05-19 , 1:36 pm

Parties, gatherings, celebratory events, new job, new school, and perhaps…blind dates? They have one thing in common- the need to open that golden mouth to make conversation. The signs are easy to spot- the dark half crescents at the underarms, the excessive (and absolutely unnecessary) laughter, the nervous fiddling with labels on my beers. Just thinking about it is making me wet…my underarms, that is. Unfortunately working in an industry that requires immaculate social skills means I got to fake it till I make it; I can’t possibly depend on alcohol to keep me talking all the time. While these tricks seem unorthodox, they absolutely work.

1. Conduct background research.
I cannot emphasize how important this is. If it’s a new job you are going into, search LinkedIn. Search the company’s name, sieve out those who are going to be your colleagues. Familiarize with their previous jobs. Check their Facebook profiles out. Find something in common, or something you can imagine bringing up in a conversation. When you finally meet them in person, you can then bring up the topic casually. “I really want to go Japan. Oh really? You went last month? Tell me about your trip!” There you have it, a conversation topic, and a connection! (Cues ET finger touch.) No one has to know you stalked their Facebook profiles and memorized all their holiday destinations in the past five years. Just don’t accidentally click on ‘Like’. Don’t say I didn’t warn.

2. Have jokes on hand.
Everyone adores humourous personalities. If they don’t, they really should reflect. What is there not to like about hanging out with someone who makes you laugh? Unfortunately, humour and wit are usually innate- you have it, or you simply don’t. Fortunately, you can always have jokes on hand. In fact, I realized that the worse the joke is, the better the effect. My all-time favourite: “A matchstick scratched its head. It died.” If laughter’s your chosen charm to send girls into giggles, try incorporating cheesy pick-up lines- “Are your parents bakers? They sure made you a cutie pie.” If you didn’t smile, you might have to have your facial muscles checked for functionality.

3. Dish out compliments like they are free- hey, they are free!
The tricks above require some prep work. For this trick, you just need to prepare a really convincing sincere smile. Observe the people at the event- look at what their accessories, their hair, their makeup, their clothes. Go up to them and say brightly, “I LOVE your lipstick colour, it compliments your skin tone so so well! Where did you get it from?”, “Oh my gosh, that watch! I have been thinking if I should get that watch for so long. It looks absolutely gorgeous!”  It is human to like affirmation. This works best if you genuinely think that something looks great on them. If you really can’t find something you genuinely like…just compliment something. ANYTHING. “Hey your nostril hairs are perfectly symmetrical!”
No, I’m kidding, don’t say that. But if you do, please let me be there to witness it.

4. Create opportunities.
I know it sounds silly, but when I was new at my workplace, and someone happened to leave work at the same time as me, I would take the same train line as them. It could mean a longer route that I have to take, but I treat it as an investment. At work, there is hardly time for one-on-one interaction that can build rapport. I use this precious after-work time to learn more about my colleagues. People are also generally more relaxed after work hours and you will find it easier to talk to them. You can also create opportunities by ‘coincidentally’ running into people in the washroom or pantry. You can then make use of pointers 1 to 3 above. Voila!
Before I forget, wear anti perspirant. Don’t let those wet underarms give you away.

Worker’s Party just agree with PAP on something, but there’s another reason why they did that. Watch this to the end and you’ll understand:

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