Talking to strangers (Week 1)
In order to face my fear of talking to new people, I have set the challenge to talk to a stranger everyday. It has been a rocky start and it continues to be a challenge.
On Monday, I talked to A.J. as we waited for class to start. It feels awkward trying to randomly talk to someone but it’s kind of fun. I asked him about a book he was carrying since I hadn’t bought one for the class. From there, I learned that he was a junior and some other random facts. I really had to strive to keep the conversation going because he wasn’t much help. It got awkward fast. I expected this to happen since I don’t always know what to say.
On Tuesday, I met Stephen through another friend. A friend that I actually met recently so everyone I meet through him is new. I didn’t get to talk to Stephen for too long, but he seemed pretty cool. He’s a website designer in computer science so I got to see some of the work he has done.
On Wednesday, I was visited by my resident advisor for my housing area. She came to my house because I needed to sign a roommate agreement form. Who actually follows these agreements; everyone just signs them and sends them in, so I don’t see the point. I didn’t really learn anything about her other than that she is almost as busy as me. I know this because this is the first time I meet her and school has been going on for about a month.
On Thursday, I didn’t talk to any one new. Seriously, there are so many new people, why couldn’t talk to one of them? Truthfully, I just didn’t make the effort like I should have. I still get nervous sometimes.
On Friday, I chatted with a cashier at Target. She had a genuinely nice smile and, by her body language, I could see she was tired. We exchanged pleasantries and I asked how she was. She said good but not enthusiastically. I replied, “long day, huh?” She smiled and said yeah. I smiled back, thanked her for the receipt, and that was it. In mind, we had an exchange of smiles, which can better than talking.
I have been realizing that most people actually want to talk. They like to open up to people as long as they don’t have to make the initial move. So, in many ways, people feel the same awkwardness about starting a conversation as I do. Everyone wants to talk, but no one wants to take the leap, a dismal predicament for people to be stuck in.