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Comments (12)

  1. Kat

    Thanks for your article, David. I tried this out myself last week on a garden party – though I only found your website yesterday. What I did at that party was imitating a friend of mine who is a very outgoing person and knows lots of people. I studied his behaviour at the party closely. While most people remained sitting or standing together with the people they already knew, he visited all of those groups during the evening and made conversation with them. So I decided to follow him and started by just listening to the conversations. After a while I made a comment or something. It worked surprisingly well.
    Later when like ten people or so got up and danced I thought “I really don’t want to join them” but I did. Just slipping into the circle they had formed with a smile.

    My tip for getting smoothly out of conversations with people you really no longer want to talk to is saying something like “Excuse me, I’ll get myself another drink.” Everyone understands that this means “conversation’s over” and the other person can save their face. If on the other hand you really like the person say “Let’s get some drinks.”

    • Ingrid

      Thanks for sharing!

  2. Camilla

    Aah! Then I know why I feelt so “offside” today at a familyreunion 🙂
    But then I have a question: If you’re “in the conversation by just listning, what do you do with the fear of “when the hole group turns to you, to be the center of attention for a sec or two” ?

    • David Morin

      If the fear is not overwhelming, try to focus on the conversation and what everyone is saying. The fear will peak at first, but then it will gradually go down and it will feel better. 🙂

      • Camilla

        Will do!👍😀

  3. Ingrid Sjögren

    Thanks, a good advise that might reduce some anxiety.
    Some anxiety in my case comes from my youth and is hard to get rid of. My shyness sometimes got commented in front of everybody, -why don´t you say something, -speak up, -what are you scared of so on so on and when I did speak up, -where did you get your air from?? followed by a laughter.
    Of course this did not accure everyday but I think that this is one of my ugly memories that haunts me and when I feel a bit scared makes me think that it will happen again. If you have a trick to “fool my thoughts” it would be nice:)

    /Ingrid

    • Shaon

      Same happened to me. But you know what? Fuck everybody else, you speak up! At first they’ll laugh because they are stupid but everyone will get used to it after a while

    • David Morin

      Those things they said are horrible, so sorry you had to endure that. I think you are brave for sharing.

      I think the best way to “fool your thoughts” is to challenge them. Take small steps to do things that are just a little bit scary for you to do. When you do those things, you gradually build up your confidence and prove your thoughts wrong. For example, a small step could be to ask a stranger about the time, or just ask a coworker how’s it going. When you complete a challenge like that, you will feel better because you challenged your fear and won. The result of the interaction itself doesn’t matter.

      • Ingrid

        David,
        thank you for your support. Actually what you just said is what I have been practising a long time now and it works quite well. I still feel awkward from time to time but compared to how it was before, I made progress
        It´s when I get involved in a new setting, a new and unfamiliar group (or when I think people are socially above me) that my brain sometimes unfortunatly reminds me of “old times” and find myself crawling around in the same old pond again. I consider myself as a awerage smart person but when theese feelings takes my brain on a walk I find my IQ drop very rapidly.
        But as you said, with the right mindset, it can get better.

        Again, thanks / Ingrid

  4. Mandy

    I use this hack a lot. For me, The only problem is when the conversation gets really boring and that’s when it’s hard to not space out.

  5. Jean

    Yes, I think not listening or paying attention to others creates a haze and gives one a sense of feeling more like an outsider. On the other hand, listening and just nonverbally be involved is a simple solution to feeling like an insider and not appearing weird. This is actually proven by my own personal experience.

    • David Morin

      Thanks Jean, interesting observations. I agree.