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How to reduce social embarrassment after a pandemic

I felt very socially awkward ”- that was a phrase that was often repeated at the first pandemic birthday party I attended. We got over it – wine did – but it was a reminder of how well our behavioral skills were honed last year. Like, we have to hang out? In the same space? After a year of sneakers and global chaos? If the thought of post-pandemic conversations makes you insecure, you are not alone. But you can feel less awkward by warming up your social institutions, according to world-renowned psychologists and founders. Safe Conversations Harville Hendrix, PhD, and Dr. Helen LaKelly Hunt.

“Now that we are vaccinated, there may be a fear that persists, stressing social interactions,” said Dr. Hendrix. “This makes people question how to get back to normal after they get vaccinated and whether they ever feel confident with society again. There are tips and techniques that people can incorporate in their daily routines to start warming up their social muscles and prepare to rejoin social situations confidently. “

Basically, kicking off your social opportunities allows you to easily revert to social interactions through simple daily exercises. And before we get started, it’s helpful to confirm what you want to do. “Acknowledging your emotions helps you formulate your intentions and gives yourself the space to develop this skill and improve,” says Dr. Hendrix.

How to reduce social awkwardness with people when a pandemic ends

1. Make time for casual conversations

See, while small talk can be unbearable for an introvert, the simplest way to warm up your social muscles is to make time for casual conversations. I did my dental work continuously during the pandemic, and although it was difficult to converse with a drill in my mouth, frequent encounters really made me feel more secure in life away from society.

“The pandemic not only created a physical distance between friendships, but also an emotional distance,” said Dr. Hunt. “Create time boundaries around these conversations to respect your time and space. Small, casual interactions are a great way to practice social again before you face bigger social situations. “

2. Focus on listening skills

We all know that video chat has made it more complicated to listen to others. Beyond the technical realm, people’s reading is more complex body language signals; You will wait for your time to talk. So please hone your listening skills in the meantime.

“Take the time to listen deliberately to others and reflect on what the person is saying to show that you really understand what they are saying,” says Dr. Hendrix. “This allows you to clarify the information that person has passed on. Followed up with the simple phrase ‘got more of that?’ You will be amazed how much of the five words can open up a dialogue. “

3. Reflect on the past year

If you have intense social anxiety about going back to the real world, take a look at everything that happened. Then practice, practice, workout!

“Think about how you would answer the questions ‘how are you?’ and ‘what did you do?’ in a way that encourages meaningful conversation, ”said Dr. Hunt. “Take a moment to validate your friend by saying ‘it makes sense.’ You can talk about a new hobby or skill that you may have learned in the past year. Focus on the positives that have taken place in your life over the past year, even if it’s just a few.

If you have a good “scenario” prepared for reflections on the past year, it can serve as a guide to navigating social interactions – and lead to more powerful conversations, has more meaning that we all crave for now.

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