The Hell Butterfly

4 Top Tips for Not Making a Twat of Yourself in Front of Your Peers

Have you ever found yourself the butt of jokes between your peers? Been rejected from the social group and diminished to Total Pillock status without any idea why? In all likelihood, the problem is you. Don’t get me wrong, the probability that the social group in question are all complete planks themselves is still high. But you can’t change your peers. Instead, you should be focusing on the things you do that perhaps earned you your Loser status. Here are some of my Top Tips for avoiding making a twat of yourself in front of your peers.

1 – Social Networking: When having a thought you think is funny, relevant, or infuriating, you may want to share it with the World Wide Web, and in particular the peers you have on your respective Social Networking sites. It could be a joke you thought of, something embarrassing or rage-inducing, or simply something you did that day that you felt the world should know. And one can often find that, after typing this message/tweet/status etc., you hit enter and regret it. It might be instantaneous regret, or it might take a few minutes with zero responses that makes you think, “Huh, maybe I shouldn’t have put that. How awkward.” It can be embarrassing to have something like that out there for everyone to see, and once it has been seen, there’s no taking it back. Because if you do, it’ll be even more awkward when someone notices and asks, “Hey, why did you delete that comment you put? You weren’t embarrassed by it, were you?”

Image

See. He gets it.

 Top Tip: If you really feel it needs to be shared, type it into the box, re-read it, and then wait. A few seconds will do but you can wait a little longer if you wish. The important thing is that you don’t hit send immediately. Stop and think, ‘is this going to damage my dignity if I let people see this? How can this come back to bite me in the ass?’ It may turn out that after a quick thinking over of the situation, you realise it might be better not to hit send. Look over your words and consider, are people going to give a damn about what I’m thinking? If it’s really funny and you think people will appreciate it, or if you’re still really annoyed and believe others will feel your pain, then by all means go for it. But make sure that, before you do, you think about the implications of showing it to people. It may turn out that it would be more hassle to send and face the consequences than it is to hit Delete and let those thoughts disappear into the vacuum of cyberspace. And to be frank, not a lot of people will care about everyday stuff. If you don’t want to look like a fool, think about how foolish it will look to share something that nobody gives a crap about.

2 – Topic of Conversation: When in a group of your peers, it is likely that eventually the conversation will turn to a specific topic. If you know your peers enough to have a preconceived idea of what they like to talk about, this is a bonus. If not, it can become extremely uncomfortable for you and for the other members of your group if you are unable to join in the conversation. If you can’t add to the conversation, you’ll end up being the one that gets pushed out as the circle tightens to stop including you, and it will be you standing there like a lemon with your head hung in gloomy shame.

Top Tip: Get in the know. As I mentioned before, if you have an idea what they might talk about, this is an added extra. Go you. From here you will already have an idea what they might bring up in conversation and you’ll have a good building block to start with. If you’re one of these people, then you’re a step ahead. Let’s take the example of films. Say your group of peers are always going to the cinema, or always talk about going, even if they don’t. Get informed about the recent releases. Read film reviews, see it before them so you can give your own feedback, or better yet, if you’ve done your homework you’ll know what’s coming out before they do. Suggest going to see one of them and be prepared to give a reason why it might be good (a good cast/plot/rating etc). If you’re someone who doesn’t have an idea at the start, pay attention to what is being said. If you know something about the subject, don’t be afraid to jump in and add your opinion on the matter. If you’re not confident, stay quiet. Just let them now you’re listening by paying attention as this will get you bonus points for being a good listener, and you’ll have something to research when you get home. Listen out for specific topics – does anything come up often? Is there anything that people sound interested in, even if they don’t continue talking about it. These key things could be great conversation starters next time you meet, and you’ll find people are coming to you for input and your work will be rewarded.

3 – Knowing Your Place: This is related to the above point. It can become awkward quickly if you choose to give your input at the completely wrong time. If the conversation is going one way and you misinterpret it and yell out something unrelated, you’re likely to get strange looks, and they’ll probably not want to talk to you again. Likewise, just because you have a brain full of interesting, but ultimately useless, facts, it will go equally downhill if you suddenly interject with a Did You Know statement. For example, the conversation may be about travel and so you think, ‘Ooh I know something that would sound good here’ and then step into the crowd announcing, “Did you know that the capital of Tajikistan is Dushanbe?” (true fact by the way. One of those useless facts I, myself, know). In all likelihood, the only foreseeable outcome is going to involve a chorus of nervous chuckles, plastic smiles and inevitable rejection.

Image

With your peers? Probably not the best time to whip this one out.

Top Tip: Know when to hold your tongue. In the same way you should think before you hit send on a Social Networking site, you should heed the old saying of ‘Think Before You Say’. This golden rule will be an incredibly helpful one in making sure you don’t come off as an absolute, Grade A, twat. Have a Did You Know fact in your mind? Think – is it going to add to the conversation. If someone asks for random facts, or they’re already being stated by someone else, now might be a good time to use it. But if it will do nothing for the conversation, save it for the next pub quiz. Equally, if a conversation is personal to the speaker (both in content and in terms of private jokes etc), don’t comment unless it is 100% appropriate. Jumping in with a piece of advice where it is neither wanted nor appreciated, no matter how well thought out it is or how much you mean well, can end a conversation and in turn a friendship. Have a piece of advice you really want to give the person? Wait until the group disperses, take them to one side and have a one to one chat. In addition to this, don’t just shove your advice down their throat. Ask if they would like your opinion first. If they say yes, go forth, my son. If not, accept it, back up, and let them know you’re available if they need to talk. This will be appreciated much more than stepping in where you’re not wanted.

4 – Awareness: It can often happen where you find yourself in a conversation with someone, yet have no idea how it happened. What I mean, is that you were probably in your own world and not aware of the moment when the conversation turned to you. Chances are if this has happened, the conversation will go stale before you figure out how to respond. If you’re in a group of people and you zone out because either you’re not involved in the current conversation or because it doesn’t interest you right now, it’s almost guaranteed to get all kinds of messy when the group looks to you.

Image

You don’t wanna end up like this guy.

 Top Tip:  Always be on your toes. Pay attention to what is happening around you. If you’re stood with people having a conversation, keep up with what they’re saying. That way, if they look to you for any reason, you’ll know how to react correctly. It could be a ‘So how are you then?’ or a ‘So what do you think?’. In both cases, a reply will be necessary. In the case of the first question you have a better chance at improvising an answer. That is if you even heard what the question was. In the case of the second, if you haven’t payed attention to the topic you’ll be utterly screwed. When you are in a group, it is important to pay attention. They won’t appreciate having to explain everything again if you zone out – the fact is, if you are with the group, you should be prepared to participate. This goes for general activity too. There aren’t a great many social situations that are made better for your not being aware of your surroundings and the people in them. Always keep your eyes and ears open. Unless it seems an appropriate time to do so, don’t let your guard down – it is important to make sure that if you are with a group, you are ready at all times to give an opinion, answer a question, or make a suggestion. And awareness can extend to the simple things too, like watching out for lampposts, kerbs, holes in the floor and wet leaves. All these little things can be priceless fun to watch as an outsider, but crippling to your street cred. if you are fouled by one of these yourself. Being aware of your surroundings will avoid any (or most at least) mishaps from landing you in the Idiot Box (and yes, there is such a thing).

Tips of your own? Funny story about a time you made a twat of yourself you want to share? Then comment below and share the shame, my humble brethren.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s