It’s December and it’s time for parties and socials. More than the holiday preparations, this is what takes the most out of me. I thrive more in small group conversations where I can get to know people more extensively. I can talk for hours with just one or two people. I like it when the talk shifts to more than the usual chitchat. Maybe this is also the reason why I don’t have big groups of friends but instead have a few really close relationships.
I’m mindful though that these social small talk is important for networking and necessary in the job that I do. It is also good to practice social and conversational skills. I know that I will get better at this if I constantly put myself out there. What works for me is when I bring my full self to the table instead of trying hard to act smart and knowledgeable about whatever is the industry topic being discussed. What works too is being genuinely interested in what others are saying instead of constantly fretting whether you are saying the right things. And more than anything, it is simply listening and learning from those around you. If you see these instances as unique opportunities to learn then it is worth exposing your shy little self out there.
So I’m bracing myself for more of these events but I’m trying to replace the nervousness that I automatically feel with one of excitement. It’s the same sensation actually but just framed differently. I realized that whenever I do this I am more relaxed and less tired after. It’s quite similar to my race jitters. If I am less fixated on finishing at a set time, I get to relax and perform better. So yes, this is another case of the truth that how we do one thing is how we do everything.