Are you a Good SocializerGerard Counihan
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This activity is designed to get the students talking, and so should not provoke moments of tension or embarrassment. It should be done with humour.
Answer these questions.
- When you are introduced to a stranger, do you normally become tense?
- Do you try to be the centre of attention of groups?
- Do you consider yourself a successful person, socially speaking?
- Do you find it difficult to demonstrate in public some of your personal skills (such as telling jokes, dancing, singing ...)?
- Do you have problems when speaking in public?
- Are you happy/satisfied with your own image?
- Would you eat alone in a crowded restaurant?
- Do you feel quite skilled at socialising
- Do you accept praise gracefully and naturally?
- During meetings/encounters with strangers, do you listen more than speak?
- Do you show your feelings to friends you don't know very well yet?
- Do you go red when someone shouts after you in public?
- Do you feel inferior when introduced to an important person?
- Do you often think that your contributions to a debate can be relevant?
- When you are going to be presented in public, do you sweat, shake a bit, and feel insecure ...?
- Would you be able to imitate a famous person?
(Loosely based on a test from QUO, June 1998, Spain.)
Calculate your score.
- If you said YES to questions 1, 5, 10, 12, 13 and 15, give yourself a point for each YES.
- If you said NO to questions 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 ,9, 11, 14 and 16, give yourself a point for each NO.
- If you scored less than 6, your ability to make friends is acceptable.
- Between 6 and 10, you have/have had difficulty relating to other people socially.
- More than 10 points, new situations and getting to know new people is hard for you.
- Discuss any of the above which may prove interesting.
As a related activity, you could show them the following list of social types:
- The star
- The prankster
- The complainer
- The pedant
- The shy boy (+girl)
- The flatterer
- The serious person
- The cultured person
Get the students to define, in their own way, each of these arbitrary names. They are supposedly, the main types of characters which abound on
the planet Earth. Are there any more types of people? The extrovert? The introvert?
Here are some definitions of the above terms:
- The star: Always tries to talk about himself, and hates it when the chat moves into unknown territory.
- The prankster: Great fun, but a bit tiring after a while, especially if the conversation is serious.
- The complainer: Never happy, always giving out.
- The pedant: Pretending to know more, and shows it off. In the end, people avoid rather than admire him.
- The shy boy: He can make those who don't know him feel uncomfortable, and trigger sympathy in others. A complicated social animal.
- The flatterer: Manipulates people. At first, we like it, but in the end ...
- The serious person: No visible sense of humour. Makes others uncomfortable, seems to set the pace sometimes. However, he doesn't have to be boring, and can make a good friend. Trustworthy.
- The cultured/learned person: Usually, a highly valued person, because we like to be with people who know more than us. Once he doesn't show it off!
- Get your students to select the heading, or their mix of headings, which most fit(s) their personality.
- Which trait predominates most?
- Have they parents or work-mates who conform to one or more of these headings? Their boss? Their partner?
- Are there any other categories not mentioned here?
- Are there any gender-based differences?
- Are people a mix of all of these notions?
The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. V, No. 2, February 1999