Do you ever find yourself in a social setting, and notice you are the only one not in an engaged conversation? Everyone else in the room is in some type of conversation, backs towards you? Oh the worst is when you are at a large dinner table and this happens. It is such an awkward position for me to be in. And, in the past, whenever this would happen (quite often), my ever so cruel "inner critic" would chime in with comments such as, "Boy you are boring. You are the only one not in a conversation and all by yourself. I hope no one else is noticing this!" Then I would pull out my phone and question why I bothered to come to this event.
However, with the work I have done to increase my self-awareness, I have learned to ask a much more helpful question when I find myself in this all too familiar situation. The question is -- How can I put more energy out there? This is a great question for me as it wakes me up to the fact that when I find "backs towards me", it is highly likely that I am probably spending my time observing, thinking internally, analyzing the energy in the room, and worried about what people think of me. This is all my taking energy in. I am not engaging with people enough and getting energy out. What are some examples of putting energy out? Oh, how simple it can be:
physically leaning towards others,
showing interest in other people's stories,
contributing to a conversation by revealing something about yourself,
mentioning something you've read recently or heard on the radio that is relevant to the conversation
Remember people's names
The key is engaging with others with most your focus being on them. A trick I often play with myself is to ask, "How can I learn something new about two different people tonight?" I give myself this challenge to help me shift towards getting my energy out. When I truly seek to learn about others, it can be rewarding because I get others talking about themselves and I can learn something. I am focused outside of me. Even better, no more backs towards me!