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January 15, 2011 / zlost

How to avoid over-thinking social interaction

Immediately after a social interaction is resolved, without being bogged down by each detail, make a quick judgment if the interaction was a success or a failure. By definition, the distribution should be 50-50.

If a given interaction was declared a success, avoid analyzing it. Sure, there may have been one or more awkward missteps during the course of the interaction, but this is not the place to expend you focus. Focus instead on the other 50%, the failures.

Try to ascertain key points in the interaction that, if handled differently, would have a profoundly improving effect on the overall outcome of the interaction.

As your experience with social interaction improves, gradually increase the success-to-failure ratio.

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