• margaretfmadigan

Networking: When Awkward People Attack!

Yesterday I went to a networking event.  I really have to be in the right mood to attend those things.  Sometimes I feel sociable, other times not so much.  I used to feel sociable all the time but in the last couple of years I feel like just sitting in the corner with my dirty martini and waving off anyone who dare try approach me.

Networking events, parties, hanging in a bar, it’s all sort of the same thing.  Some people are natural socializers, others are not.  I’m great with other socializers but over the years I’ve gotten increasingly more irritated with the socially awkward folk.  You know the kind… they don’t say much but stand there and laugh nervously, yet they still follow you around, staring at you with nothing to say .  Or the folks that, trying to get them to elaborate is like trying to get Kim Kardashian to wear less eyeshadow.  They only give you one word answers and then just kind of stand there with a half grin on their face.

I’m usually quite awesome at reading body language and social cues.  If someone starts looking around, or seems bored talking to me, I walk away (ya’ know, politely of course).  Hey, I can’t always be the most captivating person in the room, I let others have a chance.  I’m a giver like that.   I can also tell if I have offended someone, I change the subject.  I can’t help it if everyone doesn’t respond well to my stories of expressing my dog’s anal glands. (just kidding, I don’t have a dog anymore, nor would I discuss that with strangers).   Let’s face it, I am the picture of Emily Post when it comes to party etiquette.  Too bad not everyone else is.

Other social types I can’t stand:

The Close Talker – get the f*ck out of my personal space, for Christ’s sake!  And take a shot of minty Scope while you’re at it.

The Lecher – The guy who has some close talker tendencies who is staring down your blouse the entire time and is always trying to turn the subject down the naughty road. (he’s not getting anywhere near my naughty road)  Or he maybe thinks he somehow has magical bedroom eyes and is trying to put you under his spell, staring you directly in the eyes with a come hither look.  Um… that’s just creepy.

The Cling-On – This is the female version of The Lecher.  I’ve been out with guy friends and seen this happen.  Again, she has close talker tendencies and amazing posture.  Somehow her breasts always end up brushing against you.  She’s usually sloppy hammered and can’t take a hint that the guy is not interested even if she put a bag over her head and had a car waiting for her afterwards.

The Puppy Dog – The lone guest at his/her own pity party.  They start off the conversation by telling you their Mother died and they are unemployed.  Much like Debbie Downer but with the addition of following you around waiting for a crumb.  What?  What do you want me to do?!  I don’t know whether they want money or pity sex, but the approach ain’t workin’.

The Peddler – At networking events they could really give a crap what anybody else has to say, they are not there to learn about what anybody else does.  They come armed with fistfuls of business cards, copies of their book, bumperstickers, coupons, personalized colostomy bags… whatever.  They are promoting the shit out of themselves (reason for the colostomy bags).  It’s all about them, all the time, and they will try to sell whatever they can.  (Insert picture of Teresa Guidice from Real Housewives of NJ).  There is also the Social Peddler, they are not at a networking function but in a regular social setting, not trying to sell you anything, yet the conversation is completely one sided with a long winded narcissistic monologue.  Oh, wouldya’ look at the time… gotta’ go.

The Dosey Doe – I will never understand this one as long as I live.  They are actively talking to you yet they constantly keep inching to the left and behind you.  So every couple of minutes you have to reposition yourself and eventually you’ve turned around in a full circle.  I’ve tried to figure it out.  At first I thought it was to get away from me, but they still keep talking to me.  I’ve even stopped talking and turned my back and they are still talking to my back.  Maybe they feel shy deep down and are trying to avoid talking face to face.  We could move this conversation to an old fashioned priest’s confessional, shouldya’ like?  Hey if the anonymity would make you feel more comfortable…

There are many more, perhaps to be named later in more adventures.  I’m really quite exhausted from having to write about  and relive these tiresome creatures.  I need a massage, a nap, and a cocktail, not necessarily in that order.  Who are some of your least favorite types to encounter in a social space?

#awkwardpeople #networking #partyetiquette #socialetiquette

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