Renourish and Recultivate Your Relationships with These 10 Tips

Are you ready to have a social life again in the real world? If you’re like most people, the answer is Yes!…and No!… Face it, we’re out of practice. We have to learn social behavior all over again. We’re all rusty, so it’s time to dust off our social skills. Here are some fantastic tips to get you off on the right foot:

  1. Start slow. Get together with someone for coffee. Don’t be surprised if your timing is off when it comes to telling jokes and other face-to-face interactions. It may take some time to get back in sync.

  2. It’s not just you, it’s everybody. So be easy on yourself and be easy on the other people around you. We may have an outbreak of Foot-In-Mouth disease for a while, so don’t hold it against yourself or others when you say something that sounds really stupid. Parts of your brain have been on a long vacation. It’s going to take some readjustment. Expect awkwardness and go into it bravely. Like I said, it’s not just you.

  3. Guard against jumping to conclusions. Just like an unused muscle, your social skills have atrophied. Your ability to interpret subtle clues in behavior and tone isn’t on point right now. Don’t fall into the trap of negatively misinterpreting the intentions of others through the signs you do see. We’ve been wearing masks in public and it will take a while to get our resting maskless faces back in smiling social shape.

  4. Put a time limit on your social outings. Seeing each other in person can be both exhilarating AND exhausting. To keep each experience positive, shorten them and leave while you’re both having a great time. Don’t let it drag on until you feel depleted.

  5. Be a listener. We’ve all been mumbling to ourselves behind our masks, now it’s time to speak out loud and be heard – but realize that this is true for your friends, too. We need to take time to listen, as well. Ask open-ended questions and actually pay attention and listen to the answers.

  6. Plan an activity for your get-together. Having something fun to keep busy with can easily take the awkward out of a potentially awkward situation. Play a game of pool or play in a pool. Make a craft. Go on a walk. Play a board game. Bake cookies. Rebuild an engine together while you rebuild your social skills.

  7. Let people know what you’re feeling. Don’t just assume people know how you feel or what you mean. They’re having the same trouble interpreting your expressions and vocal inflections, too. People are keyed up and that can make them prone to see the negative in every situation. Do your best to bring out the positive in your observations.

  8. Realize that your social limits may have shifted. Going on vacation together and sharing a room may have been fun in the past, but maybe for now you need your own decompression space. And those relatives who always invite themselves over to stay for a week during Coachella? You might have to tell them you can only accommodate them for a few days this time. It’s okay if you need more space for yourself now.

  9. Let go of some old relationships and patterns. Going through the motions with people you don’t care about, at places you don’t want to be, doing things you don’t want to do just doesn’t cut it anymore. Use the clarity you’ve gained about yourself to let it go and replace it with things you prefer to do.

  10. Honor your boundaries and accept those of others. In the post-mask and distancing world, there are still many people who won’t be comfortable with getting together in crowded spaces, hugging, or going maskless. There are lots of reasons someone may feel this way and they’re all none of your business, just like you shouldn’t have to explain yourself and your choices. Be respectful and let people make the decisions that suit their lives.

Speaking of decisions that suit your life, have you or someone you know been thinking about moving your home or business? If it’s in the greater Coachella Valley, contact me. If It’s out of the greater Coachella Valley, still contact me. My referral network is huge and I can hook you up with the best real estate representatives in your area. Check out my blog on The Power of Referrals to learn more.  I’m Stephen Burchard, The Desert Bowtie Realtor, taking the (k)nots out of real estate.