Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Art of Fauxalizing.

I recently came up with a concept called fauxalizing, which is faux socializing. You know those awkward social interactions, desperate attempts to make small talk, or routine greetings to acquaintances you know but don't really want to actually be talking to? All of the above can be considered fauxalizing.

Here's the thing about fauxalizing – it becomes a routine thing in life, as normal as brushing your teeth or checking your e-mail, even if by definition it is uncomfortable and meaningless. It is empty, and especially sad when you consider that there are many people in your life who you want to actually socialize with, instead of the people you waste your time fauxalizing with on a frequent basis.

Take for example someone in your major who you have several classes with but aren't at all interested in getting to know on a deeper level. You are still obligated to be friendly, exchange niceties, and discuss commonalities in your field of study. Does this mean you can't wait to make this person your new best friend and automatically schedule one-on-one time every weekend? Nope, not at all. It just means you have to engage in fauxalizing behavior whenever you see that person.

I've found that fauxalizing can be pretty exhausting. Next time I find myself in a situation when I have to make the effort to have a forced conversation with a friend's roommate or a floormate from freshman year who I haven't talked to since then, my goal is to take the easy way out and smile to avoid another awkward instance of fauxalizing. So the next time you find yourself fauxalizing, remind yourself that it's alright not to chat up that person, and figure out a way to avoid it next time.


You don't have to be a Mean Girl, but you don't have to fake nice with fauxalizing.

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