Rules of Engagement
You’re walking down a road in college. You see someone you know at a distance. You panic. What do you do? Do you wave? But they’re so far away! But they know you saw them. They aren’t acknowledging your presence either. Do you stare in confusion? Maybe just act cool and yell out a “ ‘Sup?”. Well, worry not! We’ve figured out the perfect way to handle situations like these. Follow our 5 step guide and never feel awkward ever again!
Step 1 – Perfecting the right distance
NITT roads are pretty long. Long enough to spot an acquaintance walking towards you from at least 100 metres away. It is crucial to not make contact too early – that’ll make the walk toward them very awkward. After a series of consultations with our experts, we have determined that the Optimum Distance for First Contact (ODFC) is between 10-15 metres. This gives you enough time to acknowledge the other person, walk for 3 seconds and then make conversation.
Useful tips – To find out exactly how much you mean to other person, wait for them to acknowledge you. If they nod upwards, you are a close acquaintance. Downwards – not so close.
Step 2 – Establishing eye contact
Remember all those times you raised your hand for a “Hi!”, but the other person didn’t notice? Which is fine if it’s just you, but kind of hard to play off if you are walking with a friend. Ensure that you are in the party’s vision, and make eye contact before you greet them.
Another tip – Glance at them every other second till you have their attention. Do not intently stare, you may come off as creepy and uncool.
Step 3 – Choice of Greeting
How you greet someone is dependent on how well you know them. Here’s a little breakdown for easy understanding:
- If it’s someone you sort of know or a senior/junior who occasionally bothers you, a simple wave or a nod is sufficient.
- For a wing-mate, an annoying classmate, a hi or hey. You may even fake-smile.
- When you come across an acquaintance you need info from or feel like being a little social, use a whaddup.
- The inner circles demand a machaaa or a bro.
Additionally, you may also use a one-liner to keep things interesting, like “LHC is that way.” to meta students who come to the Orion.
Step 4 – Deciding the length of the interaction
The content of your small talk essentially decides the length of the conversation. Knowing your audience is key in these situations. Depending on your mood and proclivity towards wasting valuable minutes of your time, you choose the length of the interaction you want to have.There are essentially 3 distinct kinds of conversation that are possible.
Step 5 – Aborting the Conversation
Sometimes, you don’t really want to acknowledge the other person’s presence. You don’t really want to know about their annoying fest team or their stupid lab partner. In these situations you have 2 options.
- Simply look away. NITT has provided you with a splendid view of nature in all its glory. Embrace it!
- Take out your smartphone and listen to some chill tunes by Yuvan Shankar Raja. No one will want to disturb you.
You might think all this is very trivial and unnecessary. Your palms may not perspire, your knees don’t necessarily enervate and your arms don’t feel like a load (mom’s spaghetti) at the thought of having such a harrowing social experience. This article is for the regular Ambi/Ambini who goes through situations like these everyday, having no clue what to do.
Worry no more!
– Harshini Ramanujam and Gautham Mahadevan
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