We humans are social creatures. As such, we find ourselves in social situations often. Are there any rituals you follow, either in preparation or in those situations?
Think about all the social situations you participate in over the course of a few weeks or months. That might include everything from a birthday party, to a sporting event to a nightclub raver. And many, many more possibilities as well, of course.
Now think about each one of those events, from planning, to preparation, to event, to afterward. Can you think of what commonalities they have? Of course, it doesn’t need to be included every single time, but you may have some activities that you do regularly, perhaps even ritualistically.
Besides being social creatures, we are also a species that values rituals. Building a routine comes naturally to us. This has a number of different advantages, including helping us not to forget important steps, as well as in maximizing our enjoyment.
Let’s say, for example, you attend a live music concert, and while you enjoy it, the music was so loud that your ears were ringing afterward. Maybe next time you bring earplugs, and you enjoy that show even more. Then you choose to make it a ritual — each time you go to a concert, you bring along ear plugs. And perhaps even additional pairs for friends that go with you.
These rituals can take any number of forms. Maybe you always wear the same pair of lucky socks. Or make a checklist of things to bring. Perhaps you take a moment in the middle of the event to appreciate what you like about it. Or write about it in a journal afterward so you remember the highlights.
Each person may have slightly — or even wholly — different things they like to do in social situations. Can you think of ones that you do, or that you have seen in a partner, a parent, or a close friend? What are your social rituals?
Related questions: What is the most fun thing you’ve done this week? How important is ceremony? Introvert or extrovert? What is your favorite shared experience?