If you’re introverted like 50% of the population most social interaction hasto be forced. You will be forced to answer questions and speak small talk for a huge portion of your life. I have figured out some strategies that gave kept me sane and i want to share with you.
First of all you don’t need to respond. So many people are nosy and rude and do not have good intentions.that probing question is just a hope or a poison arrow trying to stick into you and get the scoop. On the other hand the intrusive person may also be extremely interested inhow you are because they are a family member and really can’t control the desire to force you to small talk. But still, never feel you need to give more information than you are comfortable with, even if the question is how are you, lol. So if you don’t want to say how you are, don’t answer – mention how something else is. The weather, that bird, an item that person is wearing, a recent news event, a fake person you made up in your mind. Never surrender, you are entitled to keep your inner world to yourself. Someday you will feel comfortable saying fine when you are anything but. The issues is that fine is the only acceptable answer to that kind of question.
Lie or surface answer is the second piece of advice. If you don’t want to discuss your fathers illness you just want to be left alone while sipping your Riesling, surface respond. Say he is fine when he is anything but or make something up that you would be comfortable mentioning. Your giving a socially accepted response to avoid further investigation. The person may really care about your dad or they may not. They are asking you because they are projecting their own father and the thought of him on you. everyone is a mirror reflecting each others thoughts. Everyone exists in a cloud of their own dreams. She is asking you about your dad because she is telling you she is thinking of her dad. Do you see why its ok to give such frivolity a surface response and not take life so serious? This is very difficult for me to do but i had to start before i felt bled dry after a conversation.
Last thing is the prison of your mind makes all social events worse than they ever were or could be. Your mind is a dangerous jungle of make believe and its better to let it crash and make animal noises and exist but don’t take it so serious. Let those thoughts sing and rustle but never believe them. Try to enjoy yourself. There will be time to do your introverted activities later i promise. Time is infinite and there is more of it when you are relaxed and a leaf in the stream going with the flow. Just give that talking lunatic 5 more minutes and you can disappear with your book/watch walking dead/write in journal/paint a fashion zombie and be happy you interacted well today, kept your soul intact and now can do something you enjoy.
I hope you can try this out its been 30 years in the making for me and Im not perfect at the social functions but its another art i keep perfecting for the good of society and me.
Helpful reading :
the four agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz This book can change your life – it is simple, short and concise with four toltec wisdoms presented and explained beautifully.
The power of now by Eckhart Tolle A very profound and wise book on living in the present. Extremely inspiring and wholly original, read in increments to get it all into the folds of your brain. Someday i hope to really live in the power of now.