We all strive to be friendly, sociable and outgoing. As a teenager, you can get away with the “introverted phase” where we all keep to ourselves and shy away from conversations.
But that’s not going to fly when you’re older.
Once you reach a certain age, everybody is expected to have a sense of cordiality. It’s almost expected of us to be worldly, cultured and to have a firm understanding of how to interact with people.
Most of the time it comes with experience. You meet a lot of people throughout your life, so you learn the best ways of interaction. Through trial and error, you realize what types of behavior will appeal to people and what won’t. If you don’t come to understand this, then it probably means you are either a sociopath or you have some type of social disorder that some quack with an M.D. diagnosed you with.
Others might learn through necessity. It’s going to be pretty hard to succeed in life if you lack people skills. To obtain a job, one must go through an interview, where every word, every movement, every piece of eye contact is being judged. If you lack proper social skills, then employers will notice this in a heartbeat.
Finally, when you do have a job, you must learn to cooperate with coworkers, clients and superiors. So even if you possess the behavior skills necessary to obtain a job, you are still going to refine and evolve them over the years. It’s the way of the professional world. This of course is not necessarily the case for all professions. A zookeeper, for example, is not going to have the people skills of a Bob Hope. Unless he enjoys talking to zebras or something. Or if he’s Kevin James.
So being outgoing is not only mandatory in a professional sense, but in a social sense as well. Knowing how to interact with people will make you a lot of friends, will help you meet girls, and will probably get you laid someday.
I personally like to pride myself in my people skills. I’m not saying that I’m Van Wilder over here, but I like to think that I have good grasp on how to converse with others, and that I give off a positive impression of myself more times than not.
In other words, I like meeting people. I feel like I was put on this earth so I can befriend as many people as possible, and grace them with my good-natured affability. Is that a little narcissistic of me? Yes. Very much so. But I am in the camp that believes that you can never know too many people. That’s why I enjoy striking up conversations with people, and extending my social network. If a new employee comes into my office, I’ll be among the first to approach them and say hello. It’s just the way I am.
However, all of that being said, I also wholeheartedly believe that people’s ability to socially interact should also include an understanding of knowing when to be social.
In my opinion, people tend to be left alone. I know that may seem hypocritical for me to say considering the extravagant opening I had about the benefits of being outgoing.
When we’re out at bars, or hanging with friends somewhere, and yes, most of the time at work, we appreciate conversation and human interaction. Those are perfectly acceptable scenarios for it.
But in general, I believe that human beings are introspective by nature, and that they’re favorite pastime is to simply lie down on a couch, turn on the tube, and not be bothered by anyone.
So I know when to be friendly. I know when it’s okay to get in someone’s ear and chat them up. But I can also understand when, you know, I should limit my talking, and let silence do its thing. Sometimes, less is more.
Well, unfortunately, there are some people in the world who fail grasp this.
I already stated how I get along with most people. But I simply cannot deal with people who make an effort to be friendly every possible moment of the day. And I mean people who will talk to any single soul that walks past them. People who can’t let 14 seconds pass without dialogue being uttered.
People who loudly shout the name of someone to say hello because they just entered their line of vision.
There are terminologies and stigmas that are branded upon people who talk too little. They’re introverted. They’re shy. They’re a loner. It’s looked upon as a character flaw. Heck, people might even think of them as creepy, and make jokes that one day they are going to become a serial killer. Hey, not all introverts are mentally disturbed, people.
So why can’t the same thing exist for people who talk too much? Who try too hard to be social?
Instead, people will smile, wave them off, and say, “Oh, him? he’s really friendly! Everybody loves him.”
Well, not everybody. Personally, I think people like that are freaking annoying. Give me a loner any day of the week over someone who doesn’t know how to shut up.
I may be in the minority on this. But I truly think that the world would be better served if most post people picked their spots when deciding to be social and outgoing. You can still be considered a friendly and affable person without overdoing it.
Or you can just start a blog and write excessively rather than talking. I’m sure there’s a mental disorder for that too.