So, how’s your day going? Busy? Not busy enough? I hear ya.
Mine’s going okay, pretty quiet.
So quiet that something occurred to me today. I realized that without consciously thinking about it, I’ve started to talk to strangers more than I used to.
Now, the thought of saying even “Hello” to a stranger used to send me into a state of panic. No idea why. I might muster up a smile in return for one, or hold a door open for someone, but rarely, if ever, would I initiate any convo with someone I didn’t know.
“You dropped your glove,” is about as friendly as I’d get.
I think what helped me is that, when our office moved to our current building, we needed security guards to ride up the elevators with us and operate it with a key for the first six months.
The first trips in silence were beyond awkward, so I started asking them how they were doing, what book they were reading, any plans for the weekend? Kindergarten stuff for some, PhD thesis stuff for me.
In fact, when they upgraded our elevators so that we could operate them by ourselves, I really missed those guys. And still say hello when I see them on the main floor.
At first, I thought I was doing them a good deed by giving them a break from a boring task. But once they moved on, I realized they’d been giving me the break. Some warmth, some human connection in a sometimes frosty environment.
So now I’ve started to chat with other strangers too. If I give money to someone sitting in the subway, I greet them or *gasp* make eye contact. Also when waiting in line or for the bus.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s still not easy for me… but it is getting easier… baby steps, my friends, baby steps.
Thought this song was appropriate for today. 🙂