Please note: As of July 16, Ontario has entered Step 3 of its phased reopening plan. While restrictions have been relaxed, if you go out, maintain physical distancing guidelines and wear a mask.
As the world reopens, and we follow our provincial guidelines to safely reintegrate back into society, even the most extroverted of social butterflies have found it challenging to navigate newfound social situations. And for those among us who were socially awkward before the pandemic, well, let’s just say it hasn’t been our finest hour.
While masks continue to provide us with enough social anonymity to avoid unwanted encounters with high school acquaintances and exes, everyday normalcies like small house gatherings and in-person dinner with friends suddenly feel a little stranger than we remembered.
But, isn’t this everything we’ve been looking forward to? You might find yourself asking.
After a year and a half of lockdowns, quarantines, and bubbles, you might feel like you’ve lost all of your social graces. If it’s any consolation, it’s not just you — the trend is widespread enough that it’s actually been coined “Cave Syndrome.”
Basically, it means we’re all kind of like cave people right now: trying to recall the rhythms of regular conversation, struggling to figure out what to do with our hands, and contemplating whether elbow bumps are still a socially acceptable greeting.
And though we’re not out of the woods yet, we could all use a little help breaking the ice and safely mixing meaningfully right now — something Absolut Vodka firmly believes in. As we emerge from our caves, anxious and awkward, while adhering to COVID-19 health and safety measures, we’re also looking for reminders on the basics of social interactions.
The great thing about cheers-ing is that there’s nearly never a bad time to do it. Looking to break an awkward silence? Cheers. Catching up with a friend you haven’t seen in ages? Cheers.
The only real requisite for clinking glasses, of course, is that you actually have a glass to raise. Refreshing, tasty, and sure to help you break the ice is Absolut Watermelon flavoured vodka. It’s literally summer in a bottle. So, you can mix up a drink and mingle with new people.
How to make small talk (in your small groups)
Unless your social skills are next level, small talk is always tough. When in doubt, talk about the weather and avoid politics at all costs.
Develop a signal with your friends before going to a social event. If you’re talking to someone new or an acquaintance and need a hard out, a tug of the earlobe or subtle gesture will indicate to your friends that you’re in need of an SOS.
How to hold a conversation
Once you’ve mastered the art of small talk, holding a full-on conversation is the next step. It may sound daunting, but you’ve totally got this. When in doubt, compare the brand of vaccines you each got and your side effects.
Holding eye contact is also important, although not too intensely. If you’re not sure what to do with your hands and you feel oddly orangutan-like just letting them drape by your sides, having a mixed watermelon vodka drink in hand will give you a surprisingly casual air.
How to leave a party (when parties are once again a thing)
The worst way to say goodbye at a party is by not saying goodbye at all. For this reason, it’s very important that you resist any instincts you have to pull an Irish exit.
Yes, it’s tempting to sneak out so you can go home and watch The Office in bed, but you’ll thank us when you don’t wake up to a flurry of text messages from people asking where you went.
Though the sunny season may be coming to an end, Absolut’s bringing you a new summer-inspired bevvy with watermelon sweetness and zero added sugar. As you reintegrate into society, enjoy any backyard barbecue or park hang with a splash of vodka with soda or tonic.
To find out more about enjoying the liquid summer vibes of Absolut, you can go to absolut.com.