I was slightly taken aback (in a good way) the other day when I noticed a friend actively working the crowd and bringing to life what otherwise would have been a brief and possibly unmemorable chance encounter between a group of people. The reason I noticed this phenomenon was not so much because I recognised some of my own moves and tactics in my friend's highly skilled social display, but because I was mesmerised by her huband's reaction. His palpable sigh of relief at not having to get involved himself but let his wife do the work combined with his very endearing facial expression which screamed "Isn't she good?" made me smile, albeit in an exasperating way. I also promised myself that I would write a post about it, so here we all are.
You either do or you don't, right ? Well, as I said before, I, like my charming friend, am one of those that do. At social gatherings with the husband I am not the one who sits back and observes, looking cool and sophisticated. That, would be him. No. I'm the scary one with the broad smile and matching body language who's coming right atcha in a bid for some contact. I can't help it and I don't make excuses although sometimes I admit, it would be quite nice to "have the day off" and let someone else do the PR.
So what's it about? "Why does she do it?" you ask. I can guarantee that a deep-rooted need to people-please is a huge part of it just as much as a genuine belief that we are all humans and no matter how northern you are, inside every person male or female, is a big need to communicate, to connect and to feel loved. Or not? Isn't that what it's all about? Sure, there's upbringing. My parents for example, taught me a) to be compassionate and b) to shake hands properly, openly and with a smile on my face.
Of course once you start using words such as "social" and "communication" it's hard not to touch on the whole subject of social media - that amazing new world in which we're all finding great new ways of communicating like never before. Where does that leave our social behaviour and ability to connect with others in the real world? I for one believe that the tweeting, chatting, blogging, commenting and "liking" is actually helpful as we are learning to express ourselves and communicate more than ever before.
What do you think, dear readers? Maybe you'd like to answer some of the questions raised above and below with your own valid and highly valued opinions? It would be fantastic to hear them so why don't we get a little conversation started....
- Do you work the crowd for your other half or are you happy to let him/her do the talking?
- Is it important to connect and communicate with others socially and how do YOU go about it?
- Do you make the first move or do you prefer to let others come to you?
- Do you think upbringing is the key to our social behaviour?
- Does all this matter? To connect, to communicate....?
- How are your kids' virtual and personal communication skills going?