Face it. Everyone has been there. You’re at a party or event and you make a mistake. If it’s drinking too much or bringing up politics, the entire mood of the function can change in an instant. This can damage relationships and make people view you differently. In this article, we’ll talk about ways you can avoid social suicide at your next event.
Most people like meaningful conversations. But when you’re meeting someone for the first time, it’s important to remember that sharing too much too soon can make people uncomfortable. Oversharing is usually an unconscious act that people don’t realise they are doing. A good way to overcome this problem is to be more mindful of what you’re saying in situations you are feeling anxious and want to make a good impression. When you’re just meeting someone, start off with small talk – it’s expected. Asking people questions is a great way to get to know them. Questions like “Are you traveling anywhere exciting this year?” or “What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?” are great conversation starters that lead to a lot of back and forth. People love talking about themselves, so asking questions is a great way to make a good first impression.
The Smartphone Addict
Understandably, some events can be stressful and make people feel very anxious, especially if they don’t know many people. It’s easy to stay on your phone, in a corner, pretending to do something important but this won’t make the event any more enjoyable or end any quicker. It can also make people feel you’re unapproachable, which may be a result you don’t want. If you’re too anxious to start off a conversation with someone that you don’t know, there are a few methods that might work. If you’re going with a friend, ask them to introduce you to some people they know, and if you’re going to an event alone, realize that flattery can go a long way. Genuinely complimenting someone on their outfit or hair can start a conversation, gain you an ally as well as open up an opportunity for further conversations. Now, if the issue is that you are addicted to your phone and or social media – may I suggest some form of counselling.
Have you noticed that wise people don’t talk badly about others? When people are secure in themselves, they don’t feel the need to gossip about others. People gossip because they want to feel included, validated or because they are toxic. None of these reasons are a good reason to gossip. If you want people to trust you and share details of their lives with you we recommend you avoid spreading information you have not fact checked.
Bad-mouthing others isn’t recommended either as this can also come back to bite you. People usually find out who has been saying rude things about them and the confrontation is never fun even if it’s entertaining for others. To avoid negative speech, stop before you start. If you feel like a conversation turning negative, change the subject. It’s difficult I know, but try to keep speech positive and avoid ill-natured comments – it gives you the advantage of peace of mind and others will respect you more.
The Fire Starter
Bringing up certain topics including politically leanings is a sure way to make people uncomfortable and start a heated debate. Everyone has different opinions and unless it is someone you’re close to, it’s best to avoid starting certain conversations. If someone becomes offended by what you say, it can cause an argument and even a scene. People may also form preconceived notions about you that aren’t true. If someone around you talks about politics, try to steer the conversation towards something less controversial. If the person isn’t taking the hint, it’s best to just smile and nod instead of starting an argument. Alternatively if you’ve ran out of patience or have none for the person in the first place, politely make a speedy exit to another group of friends or the food and drink areas.
Lastly… You knew this was coming and our list would not be complete without this centuries old issue.
The Drunk (AKA – Alcoholic, Lush, Dipsomaniac)
It’s easy to have one too many when you’re at a social event so it’s important to know your limit. We’ve all seen it. The one person at an event who gets way too drunk and acts like an idiot. This may have been you. With luck, no one was armed. These one-off occurrences can be forgiven, after all we are humans. However, if you are consistently over drinking and causing mayhem at events – it’s not a good look, pull your socks up. If you don’t want to be the person who got way too drunk and did something they could never live down, make sure to read on and follow the advice.
First of all, know your limit! If you don’t know your limit, then find it. Start by sticking to one alcoholic drink every 30mins, and keep a track of the unit amount associated with it. Before you get another alcoholic refill – if the room moves with you or 1 finger starts looking like 2 – best stay on the water or soft drink. If 1 finger does look like 2, you’ve had it – you are definitely drunk and have past your limit. Make a note of the total alcoholic drinks and units you’ve had for the next time – then stay under the total. To keep yourself strong whilst you are trying to stick to your limit, remind yourself of the results of overdrinking, an horrendous hangover, bridget jones diary levels of embarrassment, potentially going to prison! It may help to have a drink in your hand that you are sipping – doesn’t have to be alcoholic. This will stop other people offering you more drinks and will give you something to fiddle with if you fall into the involuntary-fidgeter group. If you have tried all this already and failed or enjoy being drunk all the time, may I suggest counseling and an AA subscription.
In conclusion, social suicide can happen to anybody. If it happens to you or someone near you, try to distract yourself and others so the moment can be quickly brushed under the carpet. Apologize if necessary. And don’t forget that if it happens to you, it’s important to forgive yourself, and to reassure yourself, that it’s an inevitable part of life.
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