Know your self talk, know yourself
Yesterday I posted a short passage of self-talk you might have come up with yourself doing the self-talk exercises I recommend as two of the best exercises I know to raise your self-awareness (exercise 1: write your self-talk; exercise 2: voice your self-talk).
Let’s do another, this time in the context of walking into a crowded room in a social situation.
First, have you noticed what people do when they enter a room full of people, whether a business, social, or other situation? See if you can tell from the internal monologue below. Something similar happens for the people in the room looking at the person. Do the following thoughts sound familiar for a person entering the room?
I’ve finally gotten here. I hope I’m not late. Wow, a lot of people here. I wish I were walking in with someone instead of by myself. Now maybe people think I don’t know anyone. I don’t want them thinking I don’t know anyone. Then I have to meet people from scratch. That’s so hard. And I have to cover the same old boring so what do you do where are you from blah blah blah… Hey, is that Jim? If it’s Jim I can say hi to him right away and everyone will know I know him… Darn, no it looked like Jim but it’s not. I should look for Mary. She’s hosting this so she’ll know a lot of people and can introduce me. I wonder who else is here… Those guys over there look like they’re having fun. I wish I was with a group. Then I’d have fun too instead of being by myself and wishing I was having fun. Oh no, that guy over there doesn’t have anyone to talk to either and he looks like he might approach me. I don’t want to talk to some guy by himself. What am I saying? I’m by myself. I’m not better than him. I better find some people to talk to quick so I’m not stuck by myself. Should I talk to them? I don’t want to seem to eager…
People size up themselves and others relative to the group. They try to figure out where they stand, where others stand, and how to fit in best.
Like with yesterday’s internal monologue, people laugh when I voice words like these, again, I think because they recognize themselves in it but also thought nobody else thought like that. It raises awareness.
It tells me we’re a social species and are constantly trying to fit in, evaluate where others and ourselves fit in, and raise our positions.
Does the following sound familiar for someone in the room as someone else walks in?
This wine is good. I wish there was more food. I wonder how long I have to talk to Don here. He’s interesting but I don’t feel like talking to him any longer. But I don’t have anyone else to talk to and I don’t want to walk around on my own. Nor do I want to start conversations from scratch. Hey, who just walked in the room? She’s attractive. I like her dress. She looks good in it. I wish I could look so good myself. She probably had plastic surgery… Was that mean? I wish I didn’t think such mean things. I wonder if I can talk to her? Oh wait, she came in with someone just behind her. Darn, she’s probably busy. I wonder who that guy is. Oh wait, someone else is coming in behind her. I wonder if I know them. I wish someone came in that I really liked so I could have a great time. Instead I have to talk to Don… and that woman who walked in is already talking to someone. I wish I was too…
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