It’s hard to believe that 2018 is coming to a close and with it most likely this blog project. As at least the penultimate post of the year, I wanted to take the chance to look ahead to 2019, in the same
I’ve had mixed feelings this week as we approach Christmas.
On the one hand, I couldn’t wait to get home, see my family and friends. Take a break to come back refreshed for 2019.
On the other, this week meant saying goodbye to two close work friends and with them a significant portion of my remaining social life in Southampton.
Both characters made work a real pleasure and were as sounder mates as any I could wish for. It was a shame we didn’t go to university at the same time.
Not only were they great friends, they were both assets to the company. The qualities they both had in common were being extremely personable, confident and likeable. In particular, they were both naturals with clients, immediately hitting it off with new people. That was something I envied.
Thinking about them leaving has made me think about the qualities I would like to work on as a New Years resolution for 2019.
Of late, I have found myself feeling painfully introverted at times. Nowadays, it’s not often that I find myself in new social environments where I’m out of my comfort zone but occasionally I will meet new people through work or friends.
At university, I coped pretty well and would consider myself to be fairly sociable. Since then, my social life has dried up and I’ve not done a great deal about it.
A real low point for me came a few weeks ago when I was feeling so (unusually) socially anxious that I crawled into my girlfriend’s bed and hid away, rather than going downstairs to talk to her housemates…
It’s pathetic and I’m embarassed writing about it, which is why I am.
In the past, I’ve shrugged off feeling a bit socially awkward in certain environments as just a minor character defect. Yet recognising how integral people skills are to the success of my two departed work friends, I’m now wondering whether it’s something that could seriously hold me back in life.
If you are reading this and know me in person, you might be surprised to find me writing about a lack of social confidence – I think I can hide it pretty well. But the struggle seems to be more of
That’s why I want to actively work on being more outgoing and extroverted next year. Not only for the sake of my social life, but looking ahead to progressing my career in a people-driven world.
‘Fake it until you make it’ seems as good a mantra as any on this front. In the past, I have relied on alcohol to build up faux confidence but I don’t want to have to rely on it next time I’m in a room full of people.
This morning I attended something of an annual family Christmas gathering with a range of Uncles, Aunts, cousins and young children that I never ever see. Most people wouldn’t think anything of the event but for me it was something of a test.
It was a chance to really make an effort and redeem myself from previous years’ social performances. And that’s exactly what I did. I asked lots of questions and even ended up with a baby on my lap (children terrify me).
This is the start of a conscious social effort going into the New Year.
If anyone is reading this on the 24th December, I wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas. I’ll be back for the final time on the 31st!