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jason paul c. laxamana
jason paul c laxamana OKAY, HERE's the deal. The first thing you must keep in mind is that you are only meeting with human beings; you are to fear nothing unusual about that, except for the fact that you are an introvert, close to being antisocial at times.

Here's the magic word: Talk. And when I say talk, I mean talk. Don't only answer questions thrown at you by the ones you are meeting with, like in a crude beauty pageant. Start topics. Ika ing mangutang. 

You know you are a shy guy, so let us program in your system what to say in tomorrow's affair. In the first place, you are not handsome, which means that you have to put some effort to submit proof that you exist in this world.

Mumuna,  know their names. Memorizing them is not really required; this is just for the sake of the whole show. You will memorize them later on anyway.

The next thing to ask is their courses. Listen close to what they are taking up in college. For instance, if someone is taking up Philosophy, ask things related to philosophy. Existentialism and stuff. You can sew a string of questions from there. When you finally feel there is nothing more to talk about, proceed.

Hmm, let's see. Ah, wa.  Please remember that you are only permitting yourself to NOT talk for five minutes and twenty-one seconds. Beyond that, you have defeated your purpose of trying to mask your introvert personality. That is why when the environment starts being quiet, look around and hit a comment about the place. Come on, atin kang mata.  Look at the cars, the buildings, the people, or the odd weather. If they comment on your comment, that is already an opportunity for conversation. Grab it. Lest, start another topic.

Oneng,  don't overact. Critiquing on petty and irrelevant things such as the design of the handkerchief of some people you encountered while on your way to the MRT station will give you an image of a pesky person. They might even start to ignore you, or begin giving you those fake laughs. Satan knows how disturbing those can become. For even better results, talk after someone else talks. Don't steal the whole show. After all, introvert ka. Overdoing it will give you a grade of zero.

Still holding on? Now inhale. Slowly. Exhale. Okay, on to the next.

Basically you can start topics of your own choice. Other people, the extrovert ones, are masters of spontaneity when it comes to this matter. So what are you to do? I suggest you get a one-half lengthwise paper and write down as much queries as you can think of. Bukas,  before you leave for your eyeball, read them. You can memorize if you want to for the better.

If after five minutes and twenty-one seconds your mouth is still sealed for chitchat, it's time to bring out your secret weapon: your cellular phone. Pretend that someone sent you a message. Open your inbox, read a saved quote or two, and squeeze your brain for some more topics.

What to say? What to say?

When a possibly good theme finally hits you, lock your keypads and keep your phone. Begin to blabber again.

For best results, avoid talking much sh*t about yourself, unless they ask for it. But when it actually gets to the point of sort of telling the people what your whole life is all about, divert the question. Throw back the question unto them. One word may do.

"Ikayu?" 

"Ika?" 

You can use the bring-out-the-phone technique, but overdoing it effects to a kilikitxt image. Were I you, I'd excuse myself and go to the restroom after the third manifestation of the bring-out-the-phone-technique. Find some breath in the comfort room. Pasibayu,  while in that place, think of relevant issues that may be sources of brainstorming among the people you are with.

When it's really an emergency, go for some invasive questions. Ask about their love lives. But as a shy guy, who is so not used to that kind of stuff, practice this in moderation. Lest you will burst your own bubble.

Now go. Sulung!  Show them what you've got.

When you get home, tell yourself how pathetic you were: faking conversations, desperate on having an image not that of a shy guy, which is the real you. Damn, I hate you for being like that! What's the matter with you?

I'm so weird. I'm talking to myself again.


[About the author. Jason Paul C. Laxamana, 20, is producer of RocKapampangan, an album of Kapampangan songs remade by local rock bands to allow Kapampangan to penetrate the consciousness of the urban Kapampangan youth. He is an independent cultural worker seeking to empower Kapampangan by bringing it (and attempt to make it dominant) in pop culture. He operates an English-Kapampangan blogzine "The Prodigal Kamaru" at http://kamaru.blogspot.com, and a blog for his Kapampangan literary works "Kulang King Yumu" at http://sisigman.blogspot.com.]

-Posted: 4:30 AM 3/5/08 | More of this author on eK!
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