When you're so focused on being normal, things get difficult. You’re awkward in social situations and you can’t even smile properly without wondering if you actually look like a serial killer. Don’t even get me started on suddenly becoming aware of how much your arms are swinging when you’re walking. That is the WORST.
But there are ways that you can fake being normal… or at least some kind of creature that passes for human.
1. Smile a lot
Even if you DO feel you look like a serial killer, you can get through this. It’s all about making your smile meet your eyes. Practise smiling in the mirror until you’re satisfied that you can control when your eyes look happy. I’ve already written a handy section on smiling with your eyes right here.
2. Make small talk
You don’t actually have to care about the things you talk about. As long as you feign interest in what other people are saying and offer some short remarks every so often you’re golden.
3. Learn how to laugh
At some point in your small talk, you’ll realise that they are expecting you to laugh. There’s nothing worse than being caught off-guard and having to choke out a laugh or stand there awkwardly, thinking, “I would rather somersault down a hill of spikes than laugh at this joke.” You don’t have to laugh in a real way but a little chuckle will be good enough. Make it a sly one so it’s like “Aha, yes, I understand and it reminds me of a much funnier joke from someone much better than you.”
4. Come out from your corner
You can go to as many parties as you want but if you don’t actually talk to people you may as well stay home. And no, that’s not me giving you permission to stay home. I know that’s what you really want but I’m not going to cave. Walk around the party/event and try to make conversation with people.
5. Think up some conversation-starters
Want to talk to people but not sure how to go about it? Break the ice with some neutral comment about the weather or compliment part of their outfit. “I love your earrings!” or “That’s a really lovely shirt” will get you a lot further than “Yes, hello, you are also a person and I wish to communicate with you.” If all else fails, mention Donald Trump. That conversation could last you the whole night.
6. Employ a minion
Sometimes making new friends or networking is helped by having someone to fall back on. That way when (IF, GUYS, IF) you fail you can have someone to cushion the blow. Bring a friend along with you and make sure it’s someone who will be happy to help you chat to other people. Having a back-up person will always make you more confident.
PLEASE NOTE: All How to Fake stories are satirical in nature. However, if you DO decide to take on any of this really excellent advice, let us know the results on Facebook, you champion.
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