Social Disasters : How to Deal With Them
One of the main issues that many people face with society these days, is that one cannot function appropriately without some form of social interaction. Social interaction often leads to problematic faux pas that leave us all feeling extremely out of place, and as though we would be much better served crawling back into the dark room that we came from. As someone who has experienced a great deal of social anxiety and awkwardness throughout my life, I feel as though I might be able to help in cataloguing some of the most common social disasters that typically strike, so that other members of the community know what to avoid, and what to do.
Feeling Your Brain Go Into Standby Mode
This is when you’re in a social situation, and for no particular reason whatsoever, your brain just flickers into off-mode, giving you the mental equivalent of a blue screen of death. Typically, when this happens, most people just stand around, mouths gaping, unable to think, usually during a time when they are expected to give some kind of reaction.
To Avoid This:
Try not to over-plan everything that you’re going to do. It can be a nice thought to go out on a date and have all the conversation topics figured out before you even sit down for dinner, but it’s also important that you maintain a good understanding of what you’re actually capable of. Usually, if you just let things flow naturally, you’ll find that you have less brain-freeze moments, because you’re not trying to overpower yourself with reminders of what you’re ‘supposed’ to do next.
Accidentally Acting Like an Asshole
The disaster that I’m referring to here, is when you’re making small talk with someone, trying to connect, or just generally being ‘funny’ and the sudden arrival of new information brings to light the fact that you’re actually a horrible human being. For example, if you’re saying something mean about someone, before you realise that you’re actually talking to his or her Nephew, or that they don’t deserve your horrible slander. Just for a random example that happened to me recently, imagine that you’re ranting to your neighbour about how some idiot has neglected to deal with their trash for the last three weeks, only to discover that the person in question has been in hospital, in a coma.
To Avoid This:
A great idea for this one is to just never say anything mean about anyone. Ever. However, that’s not always the simplest thing to do, we all have a lot of personality hidden away deep inside of us, and when something rubs us the wrong way, the chances are that someone will end up hearing about it sooner or later. Just try your best not to say anything too cruel about someone if you don’t know the full extent of the circumstances they’re going through.
The Awkward Silence
Everyone hates this one, and everyone has experienced it, no matter how confident or savvy they may portray themselves to be. The conventional situation here is that two people (or more) or placed within a situation that requires them to say something, but they have simply nothing to say. Usually, it takes place when you’re trapped with that person for a certain amount of time, for example during a car ride or on the trip down in an elevator.
To Avoid This:
There is no great way to avoid the uncomfortable silence, unless you want to throw out some random topics of conversation just to fill up the empty space. Try chatting about the weather, if you’ve got nothing else to say, or pretend to be extremely engaged with whatever is going on with your phone at that time. Maybe you suddenly need to send a really long, important text. Who would know?