How to make small talk when you’re socially awkward.


My name is Keryn and I’m socially awkward.

Sometimes I forget to speak and other times I recount the whole plot of a b-grade horror movie from 1999 before I notice that everyone is nervously looking at their shoes and making excuses to leave my birthday party.

After years of saying nothing at all or all of the things at once, I’ve penned some fail-safe tips to help you – my fellow socially awkwards – blend in at your next social event.

1. Get to know the person standing next to you by asking some lighthearted icebreaker questions.

“Are you pregnant?”, “Tell me about your childhood trauma,” and “Is that a planned moustache?” are all a good start.

Take an active interest the stranger’s life by asking them a bunch of personal questions and taking extensive notes as they talk.

Next, demonstrate that you’re the ‘listening type’ by placing your hand on their forearm and gently stroking the side of their face when they start to get upset.

Mia Freedman, Jessie Stephens and Monique Bowley discuss whether “being and introvert” has become an excuse for crap behaviour. Post continues. 

2. Tell the nearest person all about your favourite serial killer.

Serial and Making a Murderer were so popular, you’d be a fool to not keep bringing the conversation back around to true crime.

I’m sure Susan from accounts thinks that ‘Bundy was a total dreamboat’ too. And we’ve all daydreamed about upholstering a chair with the skin of the entire marketing team.

3. Show your enthusiasm by raising your voice to a pitch so high that only dogs and horses can hear you.

One sure fire way to express your enthusiasm and to demonstrate that you’re totally comfortable in the current social situation, is to start speaking so loudly and so squeakily everyone else looks nervous.

Because if you’re not talking to people in your special pupper voice, are you even at a party?

Be warned, you might set off the security alarm but you’ll look like a real people-person.

4. Gather everyone together for a group activity.

If there’s a lull in the conversation, gather everyone together for a fun activity.

Everyone loves having the opportunity to make up a dance routine to Daryl Braithwaite’s ‘Horses’. They also love to play a game of ‘throw the shoes in the middle of the room and see who stinks’.

5. Forget small, go BIG.

Trust me, everyone at the bar really wants to hear about the time you cut a wart off your knee with your mother’s sewing scissors and it never grew back. Dermatologists, my ass.

Also, make sure you tell Mark from IT that you have the perfect woman for him. As soon as she gets out of jail.

Good luck and remember if they give you real wine glasses, stash one in your bag and take it home – you almost have a full set.

To read more from Keryn Donnelly, follow her on Facebook.

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