Working a Room

Walk purposefully into a room full of strangers. Instantly, observe, scan the configurations, the patterns of how people cluster. Calculate and intuit from this where the "power centers" lay. Identify the important persons, the centers of attraction. You have developed your sensitivity and practiced until this is second nature to you.

At this point, there are two options. The ruthless strategy involves cynical manipulation of people for your ends, "games playing". The responsible strategy means caring, giving attention to people's needs, and acting like a human being. This second option while riskier, is more appropriate for the shy person, indeed, for any moral person.

Ruthless Strategy:
Single out the "important" people, and ignore the rest. Approach, in succession, each group of persons you wish to influence. Adopt a facade of aloofness (slightly understated arrogance), detachment, and a lack of involvement - a guise that projects personal power. Aggressively push "hot" buttons to manipulate the person you are facing, then briskly move on to the next. Spend time with only those who can serve your needs. Leave envy and emotional wreckage behind you (what do you care?).

Responsible Strategy:
Seek out the "loners", the people like yourself, the ones who appear shy, lonely, in need of attention. Give the necessary emotional support to everyone you speak with. Listen attentively. Be open and sympathetic. Take the time to satisfy other people's needs. Respect others' feelings, but be prepared to have your own hurt. Keep your presence of mind and be resilient. Leave joy and healing behind you (you care).