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Home-schooled, Socially Awkward?

Joan Jerkovich - January 20, 2014 7:00 am

I was home schooled until I went to college and have never been to a public school. I’m having problems interacting with people because I don’t understand the pop culture references they make and I feel awkward around them. How do I make friends with people I have nothing in common with?

Here is my suggestion for making friends…the greatest compliment you can give a person is to remember their name and show an interest in them and their lives. People love to talk about themselves and about things they are interested in. They want validation and this can be given as you nurture new friendships by being enthusiastic and positive when you’re with them. You don’t need to know all about pop culture, or any subject for that matter, to make friends. Listen attentively and ask questions drawn from what they are talking about, then, listen some more. Let them tell you about their world and as you sit back and listen with a bright, accepting smile on your face, I guarantee you have a new friendship in the making.

Another easy way to make new friends is to get involved in activities that you enjoy and are interested in. This will bring you in contact with people who have common interests and the conversation can flow from that starting point. Speaking on my own lack of understanding, if you put me in front of a group that, let’s say, was really into online gaming, I wouldn’t understand the unique gaming lingo. That said, I’m a real curious sort and wouldn’t hesitate to ask them all sorts of questions about gaming keeping the conversation flowing. If you are mindful of the unspoken body language people put off, called social cues, they won’t mind your questions. But don’t be a pest and know when to, again, listen and let them take center stage. If you take away just one thing from this blog, simply remember that to make friends your best strategy is to listen, listen, listen. You’re super cool and you know it, so go out there and make some new friends! You can do it!

Embrace your Personal Power with Life Coaching~
• Where might you find people with similar interests?
• What will you challenge yourself to do to combat your awkwardness?
• Who do you trust to practice new social skills with such as, being a better listener and breaking in to conversations with new people?

Joan Jerkovich, BCC Joan Jerkovich, BCC
The Joan Jerkovich Show
News Radio 1150 KSAL
Saturdays @ 6:05 & 7:05 am CST
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