13 March 2011

working the crowd

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....
  1. Do you work the crowd for your other half or are you happy to let him/her do the talking?
  2. Is it important to connect and communicate with others socially and how do YOU go about it?
  3. Do you make the first move or do you prefer to let others come to you?
  4. Do you think upbringing is the key to our social behaviour?
  5. Does all this matter? To connect, to communicate....?
  6. How are your kids' virtual and personal communication skills going?
Thanks for reading and thanks so much in advance for participating - if you prefer to remain anonymous you can send an email and I will publish your comments without names on the comments form below.


Andrew said...

from Andrew in Quito: More often than not I do, and I think I was raised that way: to be open, friendly and communicative. I don't think it's essentially the way I am. Nurture rather than nature? x

dutchwomanabroad said...

so that's A. u r talking about! I recall her talking about doing that.

mao and i were are the same about working a crowd. i do not do it for him, and he does not do it for me. but he is much more socially gifted, his EQ is so high, he gets al...ong with everyone, and gets everyone to feel ok.(at least that it what i see with him). i am still the stuck up bitch, but if i want to i can be very nice;). working the crowd is something i learned later in life. if you are really ok with yourself and secure of what you stand for, you draw attention, you have like an aura around you. prettiness comes from your personality not from your looks.

style inside said...

I just LOVE these two comments! Thank you guys! Brilliant! Keep 'em coming. xxx

Cassiopeia said...

I have to admit, I'm definitely the one who moves forward and works the room. Other half is more of the strong silent type, who has a tendency to stand slightly behind me, looking grumpy at social gatherings... (Unless it's one of other software engineers / people who know one end of a power tool from another, in which case he's well ahead of me!)

I am my mother's daughter in the way I approach people, so I guess I'm on the upbringing contributes side!



style inside said...

Thanks Cassiopeia! Brilliant! Sometimes I wonder what *they* would do without us.... or do I flatter myself unashamedly? Cheers for your excellent comment.

Cassiopeia said...

I suspect my boy would cope, mainly as he wouldn't spend time with anyone other than software engineers if it wasn't for me... ;)

Unashamed flattery of oneself here is def allowed! =D


kittycakes said...

I think I'm your "minority" friend -- and more like Richard -- in that I tend to observe rather than engage. Which isn't to say I don't speak to anyone, but I tend to enjoy speaking at length/in detail to a few people, rather than briefly to lots. Although occasionally I feign extroversion if I feel inspired and can then work the room, though definitely not at your level of talent! :)

style inside said...

Well I would be a much more balanced person my dear kittycakes, if I had some of your calmness and consideration! Thanks for your super contribution. Love it!

Jane said...

I am the one in my reltionship who does ALL the work on the social front and most of my friends partners are the same. Sometimes it annoys me as I would like to take a back seat and survey from afar, but more often than not I would feel like I was missing out on an opportunity to meet interesting new people.
And as I say to my daughter when discussing quiet boys, 'the thing is, you can't have two shoe offs in a relationship'!!

Jane said...

thats should be show offs !!

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