Taking the public transport? Need to walk that last mile from the MRT Station to your office? Well, it is highly probable that you have come across one or more of these peculiar characters. Colleagues? No, you don’t consider them in your league at all. Co-workers. Yes, that’s a much better term.
- 1. The Boss
It’s the boss. ‘Nuff said. More often than not, they may not be the most approachable people. Maybe that’s an understatement.
- 2. The Acquaintance
You met him at a company get-together. You maintain a hi-bye relationship, your conversations stuck at pleasantries and your friendship, if it may be termed one at all, stuck in its infancy. His name is forgotten as the days turn to months, though for reasons unfathomable he still remembers yours.
- 3. The Awkward Fella
The one person you cannot hold a conversation with. The two of you do not share anything in common at all. Maybe he’s just awkward. Maybe you’re the awkward one. Initiating small talk with him means enduring the next ten minutes of silence so silent that it can be cut with a knife. You know the conversation has crossed the point of no return when you start talking about the weather.
- 4. The Best Employee of the Month, Year, of a Lifetime
He immediately starts talking about work, totally killing your chill morning vibes and making work seem like it has already started. What you wish to be your glorious last minutes of freedom before being beset by the pressures of nine-to-five disappear with the chatter of the man’s mouth.
- 5. The Habitually Late
This man has guts … or maybe a serious lapse in judgement. He’s been reprimanded numerous times for his tardy turnout. Work starts in five minutes and you know that only a dreaded sweat-inducing light sprint will get you there in time.
Well, the Habitually Late has other plans. He is strolling, shuffling, is he even moving at all? What is another late notice to him? Slow down for a chat? Why not just throw your cares away and head for breakfast at the nearby mall? He is your voice of temptation, one that you want to run away from but one you cannot truly ignore.
How should you plan your escape? Start walking slower and slower until the person disappears like a speck in the distance? Take a longer, more arduous detour?
First thing to note: It is okay if you do not feel like talking
Do not feel compelled to start a conversation. You do not have to feel like a social recluse if you choose not to. Say ‘Hi!’. Acknowledge their presence and move on. At the same time, do not feel held back by a talking partner. Have to rush? Say so. A simple ‘See you around!’ and a hastened departure is all it takes. However, if you have the time and are up for the challenge…
Find something you have in common
Pick a random topic and start talking. Irritating early-morning downpour? Pour out your sorrows. You may chance upon a topic both of you can talk about. Give yourself a pat on your back as the conversation spreads its wings and takes flight.
Talk about the awkwardness
Go ahead! Tell the certain someone how awkward you find such conversations. Show awkwardness the door by talking it away. The dreaded feeling may very well be mutual. People appreciate honesty and openness. Don’t stop the conversation from its rapid descent into the metaphysical. Soon you will find yourself discussing the human condition, and in no time you will have reached the office.
Take a chance. Say good morning. Break down the walls you have built around yourself and throw your reservations to the wind. You never know what life can throw at you. A smile makes the world go round.
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