How do I improve my "offensive game" in the sport of socializing?
October 20, 2013 3:37 AM Subscribe
I just got back from a party, and I noticed one major problem I have with socializing. I'll try to describe the problem here.
It feels like I am bad at directing the flow of conversation back to the person. It's as if the person is oppressing me with his/her words. Instead of bouncing the conversation back, I simply bear it, and respond weakly with an answer that suffices.
posted by wuMeFi to human relations (14 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Related: In social situations, sometimes it seems that people feel the need to express themselves - nay, to simply say words - lest they be oppressed by everyone else's words. I don't do well to combat this oppression, and I don't do well to "establish myself" in the social structure.
Related: A lot of times, I feel like I am simply reacting to people's words. If a conversation is a sport, I can do OK on defense, keeping the other team from scoring, but my offense is bad, and sooner or later I grow weary from just trying to stay alive. I am aware of and I try to do the "correct" things, such as reciprocating information, asking open-ended questions, being friendly, having friendly body language.. but I get tired from being mindful of and doing those things.
With people I'm comfortable with, this isn't a problem. However, sometimes my friends will ask questions in the form of a trap (i.e., they've thought about something more than I have, and will be able to counter what I say several times, and then feel smug about it), and in this case I get a similar feeling, although it's not exactly the same. I hesitate to include this because of how specific it is, but I hope it illuminates another facet of the problem.
Does anyone know what I'm talking about? Maybe it's a super common problem, and people have described it much better. In that case, could you please link me to resources to help me further characterize this problem? Finally, how do I solve this problem? Apologies if this question is bad.. let me know and I'll try to fix it.