The Top Five Worst Social Mistakes

Interacting with others can lead to awkward situations. Misreading things like the other person's body language and making jokes the other party members don't find humorous can make a person want to shy away from socializing with people altogether. Luckily, listed below are five helpful tips to surviving any social encounter.
Body Language
People often times don't convey how they really feel but their actions do whether they are aware of them or not. As a general rule of thumb the things to watch for are: crossing arms over the chest (means that person is feeling guarded and doesn't want any physical contact), tilting of the head to the side (to show interest and active listening, commonly seen more in males than females), shifting weight from side to side (reveals nervousness), avoiding eye contact (shows shyness or lack of self-confidence in oneself), and paying attention to which way a person's eyes are drifting in speech. If the person's eyes move up to the left they are accessing memory and if they drift to the right they are accessing creative thoughts and may not be telling you the truth because they aren't accessing memory at all.
Having a sense of humor is something that not everyone possesses but is certainly appreciated if one does have it. Generally humor can turn any awkward experience into a positive one but even if a person has a serious nature doesn't mean they're not worth knowing. More often than not serious individuals are the most intelligent.
Talking Too Much or Too Little
While it's easy to babble when nervous generally the rule of thumb is that when someone speaks too much it's usually a sign of loneliness or unintelligence (or both) and one who speaks less is usually of higher intelligence and pays more attention to detail. In most social situations it's better to remain thoughtful until knowing the other party better.
Wouldn't it be nice to know if the person being addressed were speaking honestly? Sometimes being truthful is difficult if it might hurt the other person's feelings. Reading body language is an essential part of being able to tell if a person is being truthful. Be forewarned though that often times people with anxiety issues sometimes display some of these traits while giving honest answers. Observe carefully to piece together the clues. These include but are not limited to: eyes that maintain little to no eye contact, rapid eye movement, hand in front of mouth when speaking, body turned away from person addressing, color-changing complexion (like red in the face and neck).
Defensiveness is really something a lot of people witness more in business settings during employee reviews and such. The things to look out for when someone is not listening and isn't open to hearing anything beyond their own opinions are: minimal facial expressions, keeping hand or arm gestures close to the body, eyes maintain little eye contact or look downward, and keeping arms crossed in front of the body.
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