Never Make These 5 Socially Awkward Mistakes
Editors Note: This is a fantastic guest post by Paul Sanders of Social Circle Power
Today, I want to talk about socially awkward mistakes we make without even realizing it. These mistakes ruin some chances for us to make new friends. If we stop making them, we might make a lot more interesting and cool friends.
Did this ever happen to you: You meet some new people, socialize a little with them. Everyone seem to have fun and is interested in the conversation. After it ends, you think that you just made some new friends and that makes you happy. A few days go by, and you realize that these people (or this one person) isn’t really motivated to hang out with you. He or she doesn’t really call, email or text and when you reach out to them, they seem to be busy more often than not.
This is weird, because they seemed to have fun with you, last time, right?
Do they have too many friends already and can’t have more? Are they too superficial to hang out? Did you do something wrong?
Did you make a wrong first impression?
Well, yes. There must have been SOMETHING wrong.
My guess is that you made a socially awkward mistakeâ€¦ (a.k.a socially non-savvy mistake). Most socially awkward mistakes we make are subtle enough that we never realize we make them. We sure notice them in other people, but not in us, for some reason.
First impressions are a little harsh, because it’s not easy to undo them. But that’s not a reason to put pressure on yourself. Just be aware that other people don’t have time for everyone they meet, so they tend to quickly put labels on people.
But if you know what mistakes NOT to make, that’s half the way to making great first impressions.
Where do these mistakes come from? Most of the time, we pick them up from other people. If we spent time with people that have some bad habits, we may develop some defence-like social habits that become socially unsavvy and make interesting people go away from our lives.
Smart people that spend too much time alone can also develop these mistakes unconsciously. And that’s a shame because these very mistakes can prevent them from making friends with people who would love to know more about them.
In order to get rid of these mistakes, we need to KNOW about them and NOTICE when we do them, so we can STOP them.
Just by being aware of these mistakes and avoiding them, you will prevent people from losing interest in you, or rejecting you. And that means you can be making a lot more interesting and cool friends that you need in your life.
Here are 5 socially awkward mistakes to always avoid :
1. Not Finishing Your Sentences.
This usually happens when you feel a little shy or intimidated. You feel a small pressure to not finish phrases. This is something to stop doing immediately because it confuses other people and even makes them feel that you’re not putting any effort in the conversation. And because your communication isn’t clear, they can’t relate to you. You seem different from them and a little hard to figure out. Not a good recipe for making new friends.
2. Talking Too Fast.
This usually happens in group conversations. If you’re a little nervous and don’t want to get cut by other people while you talk, it might happen to you. It’s as if you’re trying to jam all the words in so you don’t lose people’s attention. Of course, this happens without you realizing it. And the irony is that, the faster you talk, the more inclined other people are to cut you off to make their point. Instead, you can stay relaxed and express your opinions at your own pace. Add a smile and you’re fine! And if someone cuts you off, that’s okay, just come back to what you were saying when they finish.
3. Being Bold and Arrogant Instead of Confident.
This happens when you confuse confidence with arrogance. It happens when you want to make a good impression, but go too far with it. It backfires, of course, because people just figure out that you’re overcompensating for your lack of confidence. It might not be true, but our instincts sometimes make us do when we don’t want to. All you need to do is show calm and cool confidence, trying to impress too much sends all the bad signals.
4. Talking About Subjects That Only Interest You.
This usually happens to people who want to show their uniqueness. It’s a great thing to do, unless you overdo it. Talking about what you enjoy doing is a good way to express who you are to new people, but you need to do it in a balanced way. Let other people talk about what they enjoy, too. That way, they’ll know that you are capable of listening. And for you, it’s a great way to know quickly if the person is a good potential friend for you, or not. You can have an early idea, by just paying attention to what people talk about, once they get comfortable.
5. Acting Too Negative
If you’re annoyed or frustrated too much, try as hard as you can to get out of that mood, if you can’t (after a lot of trying), then leave. But don’t spoil things for others. Sometimes, we think that because we are angry, somehow, we’re entitled to show it and share it with other people. that’s okay to do with your close friends. It’s when you do it with people you just meet that it becomes awkward. They just assume that you’re that way all the time. And as we all know, interesting and cool people don’t like to hang out with complainers. Avoid making yourself look that way.
Paul Sanders from SocialCirclePower.com. – Teaching people how to Overcome Shyness, Loneliness, Master Conversation, Make Friends, and Build a Social Circle.
Being sincere, mindful, and relaxed helps me in these situations. I find that it is when we are pretending or have our walls up that we make the mistakes you list.
Great article Paul.
Thank you so much for writing me a guest article and a very interesting one to book. It’s not really a subject I’ve covered in the past so I was really intrigued to read your thoughts on the subject.
I’m definitely guilty of the first two point, more the first one. It’s amazing how easy it is to fall into the trap of expecting people to understand what you’re saying when you’re not completing the sentences and stating clearly what it is you’re trying to say. I’ve done that before and I still do.
What I would like to ask you is how do you become consistent with your interactions? I’m great in some situations and in others I falter.
Thank you again for the great article.
It’s my pleasure to write here. I really like your articles, as you know.
Anyway, it’s really hard to totally “get” what someone says when you don’t know them that well. That’s why, at first, our communication should be crystal clear.
The key to crystal clarity is to take into account who you’re talking to: what they know about you, about the subject, and the context of the interaction. If you take this stuff into account when you talk, it’s easier to communicate in a way that resonates with them.
When it comes to consistency, I’d suggest that you figure out what kind of situations you find yourself falling short. Maybe there is a common denominator?
For example, I used to be quiet when I was introduced to a group of people I didn’t know… it used to happen all the time.
At one point, I decided that I’m going to “remind myself” to socialize. So each time I’m about to meet new groups of people, I’d say in my mind:
“These people don’t know anything about you,… if you stay quiet, you’ll never get to know they really,… let’s discover who they are and let them know who I am, and have fun!”
When I say stuff like that to myself, it helps me get my mind right. Because, if you want to develop a new behavior, you need to remind yourself to make it happen a few times…
Good luck, and thanks for the opportunity to write in unlimitedchoice! 😉
OMG!!! I felt so intimidated while reading that, because I recognized myself in most of the points mentioned above. I actually don’t have a lot of friends, and that used to annoy me a lot, and I tried so hard to discover is it really happening, and I came to a conclusion that it might be a shock from previous unsuccessful friendships or It’s just that I am not an outgoing person who can easily make friends. After reading your post, a lot of things became clearer… Thank you
You’re welcome Dan,
We often have no idea what mistakes me might be making.
Sometimes, it’s better to have an outside perspective, from people or from books.
Have a good one, and let me know if you need more help.
All too often I do not finish my sent…. ences (phew). Gotta work on that. I’ve been told by many people that I do not finish my sentences (like the conversation continues to run in my head and I just forget to verbalize or assume they know what I am going to say before I say it). It’s a hard habit to break. Any suggestions on remedying this other than sheer mindfulness?
Wow I really like this post man! just shared it with my friend through facebook! Thanks alot, and don’t forget. Keep up the good work!
To no 1, Not finishing your sentences, I would also add ‘not letting others finish their sentences.’
One bad thing that is incredibly easy to do, and that I have to remind myself not to do, is to interrupt people. So often when you’re talking, and they share something you can relate to, you can find yourself feeling very eager to get your point in, or share your story (because you think it’s better than theirs) before you forget, so you stop listening to what they’re saying and your attention goes onto ‘what do I say next.’
A good tip is to listen carefully, pay attention to what others in the conversation are saying, and after they’ve finished talking, wait a second before you reply. You may think you have the best story in the world to share, and it may well be something that will entertain the people you’re with – but for the vast majority of people, their favourite subject is themselves, so let them tell you their stories etc, and be a good listener.