Socially Awkward Guide to Meeting Someone New

There are about seven billion humans on the planet. Chances are you’ll have to meet someone once in awhile. If only the apes would hurry up and rise against us, thinning our numbers, maybe I could finally avoid encountering strangers ever again.

A guy can dream. I’ll take a tapir uprising if that’s all that’s available. Just get it done.

Anyway, until that happens, you’d best learn the right way to introduce yourself. Read on and be amazed. Or slightly impressed. Or confused. I’ll let you choose.

So, you’re meeting someone new. Maybe someone is introducing you to each other at a party you’ve been dragged to, or it’s a new face at work and you have managed to avoid them most of the day until a shared lunch break. What to do, what to do? Do this.

Keep your hands at your sides and hope the person doesn’t go in for a handshake.

It seems like the older I get, the more likely it is that the people I meet are the handshaking type. I’ll probably have to shake everyone’s hand once I’m a senior, even people I know. That’s going to suck. Maybe I can lose my hands before then and get them replaced with lobster claws like Dr. Zoidberg. Anyway, maybe you’ll get lucky and manage to avoid touching a stranger if you just don’t move your arms.

Dr. Zoidberg

Hey, as long as I’m modeling myself after this fine gentleman, maybe i should get an ink sac installed, as well. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Crap, they’re reaching out to you. The expectation. The pressure. Fine, shake the person’s hand, but make it as unpleasant for them as you can.

How can they expect a firm handshake when they come at you like that? A guy needs time to prepare! Just put your hand in his and let him do all the work. Don’t squeeze, don’t pump. Work up some defensive palm sweat. It will be over soon. Oh, and if they’re a “hugger,” throw down a smoke bomb and run. There’s something wrong with people who hug strangers.

When the awkward silence falls, and it will, keep it going as long as you can and ruin all attempts at small talk.

Don’t ask question. Don’t you dare. It’s your job to minimize chatter until you can escape. Aim for monosyllabic answers, grunts, and vague hand gestures. Forget anything interesting about yourself and share the boring and generic stuff. Don’t worry, it’s almost over. Light at the end of the tunnel and all that.

Forget the person’s name and face as soon as they are gone.

You’ll probably never see him again, so don’t waste brain power memorizing any of his details. Congratulate yourself on making it to the end of the ordeal. Treat yourself to a piece of cake. Oh, hell, have two, they’re small.

Encounter the person again in the future and make it obvious that you’re forgotten everything about him.

Crap.

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