I have previously mentioned Jorm's excellent (if flawed) discussion on / guide to social interaction. I was impressed enough with this that I thought I would at least try to bear some of the points in mind when in social situations. Three things I have noticed about this (one of which I'd posted as a comment in tongodeon's journal some time ago):
- If you are in a group of people, and noone is playing Centre Of Attention, and everyone is sufficiently unfamiliar with everyone else that there's not much - if any - shared humour available, there's a heck of a lot of tumbleweed in the conversation. I tried kickstarting things a few times when I wound up in such a group, but since I was making an effort not to focus the conversation on myself, and noone else was running with the baton, it was pretty stilted.
- It's all well and good to tell someone they've upset you or made you angry and not realised it, except... if you're upset for selfish reasons, like that they're not paying you enough attention, and the reasons they're not paying you enough attention are of greater significance (e.g. illness, life troubles, etc.) than your petty ego-stroking requirements, then telling them you're upset may not be the smartest approach. I've chosen to err on the side of caution in these situations. After all, otherwise I'm just trying to be the centre of attention...
- While terse replies do not, in general, foster communication, sometimes people don't take the hint and will continue to talk anyway. I'm not sure if it'd be politer for me to interrupt and say, "Stop talking. Please." or just continue with the terse replies until the "conversation" stops.