I’m pumped about starting work for Cybercamps pretty soon. I’ve done lots of training for it, so I’ll be glad to actually be getting paid for the time I spend on this job. 🙂
The training has been interesting in its own right, though. One of the training manuals described the following scenario: you arrive at a party before the other guests. As guests start to show up, you have two choices: you can jump up and introduce yourself or stand back in the corner and watch. As time goes on, it becomes more and more difficult to jump into the crowd and become part of it because it would seem more and more artificial and forced. The longer you wait to enter a social situation, the less likely it is that you will. For that reason, you should start off with guns blazing.
In a similar vein, one thing they are big into is
losing your cool, which basically means being goofy. We play lots of icebreakers to help the campers lose their cool. The idea is that kids, and people in general, are all closed off behind layers of social mannerisms. These mannerisms are designed to let one be
cool. Or, at least, be like the cool kids. In that sense, they are largely preventative behaviors that make one more likely to follow the cool kids than do one’s own thing.
The ironic thing is that the cool kids are largely considered cool because they have the chutzpah to do their own thing. Naturally, this extends to adults as well. I think we tend to worry too much about how other people perceive us. If you aren’t afraid of looking goofy, you won’t look goofy, you’ll look cool (or, at least, interesting). It’s the people that look like they know they are silly who get mocked. They give permission to mock them by expecting it.
In fact, that is true for all sorts of things. Shame is a foolish emotion. By being ashamed, you are selling out, giving the OK for others to despise you as well as yourself. You preemptively cede the cool ground. At the very least, wait to be challenged. 🙂
Obviously these social tips are easier said than done, but take it from the guy who almost had the nickname
butt-in-the-air Mike: worrying about what other people think is for chumps.