The beach gives plenty of opportunities for quick and easy social interactions and is an excellent place to practice those pragmatic skills we have learned in other scenarios. Whether its choosing the right spot to spend the day or making small talk with the person next to you, the beach is an excellent place to practice these everyday social skills.
• Choosing the perfect spot
Choosing a good spot on the sand is often more than just looking for somewhere close to the water. It is important to keep in mind other people’s personal space when deciding where to place yourself on the sand. Sometimes the beach can be very busy and you may end up a lot closer to other people than on a quieter day. When searching for a good spot you want to look for the largest gap between people. If the beach is quite empty, you do not want to sit right next to someone who has already set up on the sand. Have a look at how close other people are to each other and use that as a rough guide of how close you should be to others around you. If you are planning to play music, try to choose a spot that is slightly further away from other and try not to sit too close to people who look like they are having a snooze or reading a book. Keep the noise down if you are playing music so you don’t disturb others. If you are setting up an umbrella or sun shelter, try to avoid obstructing other people’s view of the water or casting a shade over them if possible as many people go to the beach to soak up the sun.
• Small talk on the sand
It can be hard to tell when someone you have just met wants to continue a conversation at the beach. A good rule of thumb for conversations with new acquaintances to gauge if they are interested in continuing a conversation is to see how often they initiate within a conversation. For example, if the person keeps asking questions or making additional comments apart from acknowledge your response (e.g. nodding or comments such as ‘ok’, ‘I see’) then this is an indication that they are most likely interested in continuing the conversation. However if the person does not initiate in the conversation by asking questions or making additional comments apart from nodding or giving short closed ended responses then they are most likely not wanting to continue the conversation.
• Changing attire at the beach
Remember when dressing up or down at the beach that it is ok to be in your swimming attire on the sand or in the water, however once you leave the beach area it is most appropriate to dress back into your normal clothes just before you leave. Most people wait until they get onto the sand to undress if they are wearing their swimming attire under their clothing or they may go to the change rooms or bathroom area before they get onto the sand. The beach change rooms are often where people change out of their swimming attire and back into their normal clothes. This is the most appropriate place to get changed before leaving the beach.
Contact us for results focused speech therapy
This article was written by our Speech Pathologist Ashleigh Fattah who is a Speech Pathology Australia member. If you require the care of a speech pathologist, make an appointment. We‘ll provide you with simple and effective therapy targeted to your concerns. Contact us today.