So my resolve to talk to 3 strangers has been a more successful than it seemed on the first day.
it’s amazing how simply talking to THREE strangers daily has opened up my world!
every time that i have ridden the bus since then, I have fond myself immersed in lengthy and deep conversations!
Sunday (yesterday in my mind–two days ago by the time anyone is reading this) I found myself having a fascinating conversation with a girl who felt compelled to share most of her life’s story with me.
after only a few days of this experience, it seems overwhelmingly clear to me that we really truly are desperate for human contact! It hasn’t all been peaches… there have been a couple people who seem weirded out that someone is actually talking to them…
but so far, NOT ONE person has remained in that state. I have chosen not to let their awkwardness dissuade me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bulldozing them into having a conversation with me…. but rather I’m not shriveling in horror at the awkwardness, turning tail and running!
see people have been awkward, but not to the point of actually shutting me down. so for instance, I’ll ask the man walking his dog about his dog, and he responds with a fact, but his inflection has a question mark at the end and his face reveals obvious distrust and concern about being in the conversation… but he did respond.
So instead of shrinking back and saying, “sorry”, (or simply, oh. cool” or some other short comment to end the conversation) and sprinting for the nearest foliage to conceal me in humiliation, tho this is rather my inclination… I choose to push through and ask a follow-up question.
So far, people have invariably loosened up with that second question, and usually begun to tell me all kinds of interesting things about their lives, their passions, etc. . .
Now.. I am fully prepared to exit the conversation after the second question if the other person clearly doesn’t want to be in it… but i’m finding that the more distrustful of the conversation a person *first* seems… the more they actually want to have it.
I’m certain that this is not a rule, just anecdotal experience after a very short experimentation period.
Nevertheless, I am amazed at how readily people will share if you show them that you are invested enough in the conversation to ask them a question or two.. It shows them that they mean something…
what a dichotomy we live in. we are so desperate to be independent and self-sufficient, and yet we are sooo full of need!
so here’s to overcoming pride and discovering community!