03 November 2007

A whole new world

Oh, boy, this is going to sound stupid. But that has never stopped me before! So I beat on, a boat against the current borne ceaselessly into my own dorkness.

Juliness of Fresh and Sassy (aka Sfrontato) wrote a comment on my last post that blew my mind.
I think it's wonderful that he was even comfortable enough to speak to you at all. Which tells me you are doing something very right.
It made me make the Scooby Doo noise (example below).


Reading that comment was akin to having the scales fall from my eyes. It was a real revelation.

I honestly just never, ever thought of the idea of being comfortable enough to speak to people or not. I mean, I know that there are autistic or mentally ill people who have a hard time communicating with others, but the idea of one adult being uncomfortable with approaching another just isn't in my genetic make up, and if it ever was, becoming a journalist drove it out completely.

A good 50 percent of the skill of being a journalist is the ability to walk up to anyone and start talking. But I pretty much do that anyway. My dad does it. My sisters do it. It just seems...normal...to me.

But this clears up a lot for me! Some people aren't comfortable talking to others! Wow! So when I start rambling to random strangers and they shoot me looks, it isn't necessarily that they are dicks or have rotten personalities. It is that they are UNCOMFORTABLE!

I swear I am not being sarcastic. This is a major breakthrough. I am just amazed. I feel like "Why didn't anyone tell me this before??"

14 comments:

VenturaMom from said...

Suebob - While not a practicing journalist, I sleep with one, and majored in journalism despite being a flak. And like you, I talk to strangers. Sometimes I chat with the barista a bit too long at Starbucks. I approached a couple at Von's the other night and asked if they used to live on XYZ Ave. because they looked familiar. They thought I was an f-ing loon and eyed me with suspicion throughout the store. Uncomfortable. Huh. Who knew?
We are sisters from another mother.

Margaret said...

I often make people uncomfortable because I am very social and open. They don't know what to make of that. It has taken me time to realize that some people are very closed, and private. They don't know how to read me at all, nor I them.

Amanda said...

Ha! I'm that way too. I can't imagine EVER having trouble opening my mouth.

Lisa said...

I LOVE and admire socially open people. (You are just so easy and fun to talk to.) If someone comes up and chats with me, I'm happy to talk back.

If you've never experienced that paralyzing fear with shyness and approaching strangers, I can see why that sort of thing would be news to you.

But yes, BlogHer (being with a bunch of people I'd never met) and trying to talk to them caused major internal anxiety within me. I didn't approach one person that whole weekend. Everyone I talked to would wander into the group I was talking with so I got to talk to people that way. I lost 2 pounds in that few days. But am now kicking myself for NOT going up to people and meeting them.

So you are getting far more out of life being the outgoing, sweet person you are than some of us too shy types. :-)

Assertagirl said...

It's a blog breakthrough! I think I swing between being the outgoing, chatty type and the wallflower.

QT said...

I am in the same boat as you. I do have off days where I feel like hiding and not talking to anyone, but for the most part, I will walk up to anyone and ask a question.

In my biz, it helps, because my clients are almost all very old and they LOVE LOVE to chat...

Juliness said...

Glad my timing was good here - that isn't always the case. :-)

My husband is forever teasing me because after a trip to the ladies room at a restaurant, I'll come out with a story about another lady who used the facilities with me. You know, the woman and her husband are driving to Boise to visit their newest grandchild and she stopped at Nordstrom's half-yearly sale and grabbed the boots I just admired on her feet. Like that. Phil just wants to get in and get out unscathed.

FENICLE said...

How comfortable I feel depends solely on the person & how inviting they are. You know what I mean? Some people have that warm open nature that invites you to talk and others are more standoff'ish.

BOSSY said...

Bossy isn't a journalist either, but she plays one on TV.

Jhianna said...

My mother has that ability - to talk to anyone at anytime. My dad is almost the complete opposite - he's very contained. I'm a weird mix of the two. Sometimes, I can be almost paralyzed with the inability to talk to someone. Other times, I can talk up a storm with anyone. I wish I could figure out what prompts it...

I think it's a gift that you guys have :)

Kizz said...

Oh my god it's hilarious to hear everyone talk about how they don't "get" the shy. I suppose this means I should hang out here longer, get some tips.

I don't have a disorder, I am not eligible to be medicated but going to a social function and having to talk to new people (even relatively new and, in my world you stay new for a pretty loooooooong time) is uncomfortable. Really uncomfortable. I can do it, I do do it but sometimes it involves major dorkitude like giving myself a goal and an out, "You can leave in an hour but you have to talk to at least 2 people who you've never met before." Also I practice what I'll say when I arrive, even when I'm visiting regular friends or family so I have a good opening story to get things going. I think that's why I took to blogging because I've been trolling my day for content for years, I've just been using it to grease the wheels in social situations instead.

Tonight I'm taking a pretty long walk downtown to have supper with a group of women I've been having supper with once a month for almost a year. I guarantee you my brain will start stockpiling "interesting things to say" the moment my feet hit the pavement. Some of those things will fall flat. I will feel devastated and want to go home.

One of you easy talkers want to come with me so I'll have someone to hide behind? Please?

SUEB0B said...

Kizz - I tend to ask people who aren't talking a lot of open-ended questions...is that helpful?

Schnozz said...

If a stranger started talking to me in almost any context other than a party or something, I would FLEE. I kid you not. In structured social situations (a party, a wedding), it's fine and I'm outgoing as anyone, but, like, on the street or in public? No. Just no. I have no explanation for this other than I've lived in the city and people don't just generally stroll up to someone else in the park or the grocery store and strike up a conversation. Unless they're bums or crazy or both.

So, yeah. Sometimes the other person is just freaked out!

Kizz said...

Open ended questions are good, thanks for asking. But after the first 5 minutes of "How My Cat's Heart Murmur Changed the Way I Grocery Shop" (hypothetical but not out of the realm of possibility) please jump in and save me with a road block or a re-direct. Otherwise I'll go over and over and over how freaking stupid I was blathering about my cat for a first impression for pretty much the rest of my life.

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