Why are there so many phrases in the English language with the word Dutch in it?
I think of the following:
To go Dutch: This is when you go on a date and you share the cost equally.
Dutch auction: I have no idea what this means. My dictionary says, a method of selling in which the price is reduced until a buyer is found.
Double Dutch: Some kind of skipping game
It's all double Dutch to me: Gibberish
Dutch oven: When (usually) the guy farts in bed and traps his girlfriend under the sheets. (very childish but fun)
Finally today's topic,
Dutch courage: This is the strength or confidence gained from drinking alcohol.
I don't know what the people from the Netherlands have done to deserve all of this. I wonder what Kiwi phrases there are.
It appears there are none. Why the Dutch? I can't work it out.
Anyway, lets get back to Dutch courage.
I'm sure for all people who have tried alcohol in their lives that you have found that you suddenly have the gift of the gab or superhuman confidence for 30 minutes. Remember that it is just for that moment. Sure, for guys, you might be able to pluck up the courage to go and talk to the pretty girl at the bar. She might be interested. You set a date for the following week.
What are you going to do? Have five beers before you meet her every time? Unfortunately that isn't going to work and she will soon see the true you.
What can you do to become a good conversationalist without the help of alcohol?
I would say the first thing is to make sure you have a passion. Make sure you have something that you are really passionate about or at least you know well. It goes without saying that if you have great knowledge about it or are extremely passionate about it, then you are going to want to talk about it.
When I was younger, I was pretty shy around people that I didn't know very well and it was difficult for me to have proper conversations with them.
However, I remember one particular time, for whatever reason we turned to the subject of cricket. Something that I know well. In the end the other people had to stop the discussion because they got themselves in over their head. They didn't know enough about the topic and I was passionate about it and they couldn't compete.
Of course there are also going to be occasions where you are going to have to be adept at small talk, which introverted and shy people are not. (I know that I have said ad nauseam that they are not the same but I do believe that they have the same problem)
Unfortunately when small talk is required, you are going to have to grin and bear it.
What can you do to make speaking with other people that much easier?
1. I remember a friend's friend would read the newspaper and look at the news websites before venturing out. He always had a plethora of topics to talk about.
2. Compliment people but make it sincere. I worked for just over a year in the service industry. It was a lot of fun and dealing with people everyday who were there to have fun was really interesting. Unfortunately in the service industry in New Zealand, service providers are taught to ask generic questions that don't have any relevance to anything. I taught myself to ask questions of relevance to the patrons. I think they appreciated it more and it enhanced their overall experience.
3. Use humour only if you have a good sense of humour. I tend to use it a lot because I think that I do have some funny things to offer although my sense of humour can be a little dry. I remember a teacher at high school saying to the other students that they better laugh because Blair has just made a joke and it is quite funny.
4. I think the most important thing is to surround yourself with people who are similar to you. I know that it sounds great to hang out with "the popular kids in school" but you won't feel comfortable around them, believe me when I say that. Make friends with similar personalities, similar hobbies and interests and then you won't feel so much like a fish out of water.
Drinking is fun if done in moderation but if you are consuming alcohol just so that you become another person, then I think you are wasting your time. You are going to create more serious problems for yourself and that is never, ever a good thing.
Other posts related to this topic:
Follow me on social media:
Japanese language blog: http://gaijinambivert.blog.fc2.com (Admittedly I haven't updated it for a long time but it is a similar theme to this blog.)