Tag Archives: strangers

52 FEATS – NUMBER 50 (Making Friends)

13 Dec

For the original 52 FEATS blog entry, click here.

I’m happy to announce that I did great with last week’s Feat!  Based on a more consistent schedule, Jenna has already improved so much with her reading lessons.  And that definitely makes me feel like I’m doing a better job as a mom!

Last week I was at a restaurant with my family when I happened to strike up conversations with two complete strangers – something very unusual for me!  They were both very nice – one was an older man telling me about his grandkids and his love of Christmas lights, and the other was a young mom asking me questions about local schools.  We talked for at least a couple hours.

Maybe the romance of the season is getting to me, but I think I need to do this more often.  It was a nice thing to do, connecting with complete strangers who turned out to be very friendly.  I actually enjoyed talking to them; surprisingly, it didn’t feel like a chore.  Maybe my little grinchy heart is ready to grow three sizes!

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52 FEATS – Feat 1, Day 1

4 Jan

So today was the first day of Feat Number 1 – the “say hello to every stranger” week.  It was interesting…

The first place I went was Lowe’s, to buy a new toilet seat (apparently we are too abusive in the john and ours broke).  I actually forgot about the Feat for the first few minutes I was there, then suddenly gasped and looked around for someone to say hi to.

Here’s the thing I quickly realized – you can’t bother someone from what they’re doing in order to simply say hello to them.  Not if they’re a total stranger – that’s just rude and slightly loony.  I was walking past a couple who was looking at some paint.  They had their backs to me, and I realized that interrupting them was just not cool.  So I concentrated on anyone that I could make eye contact with.

And here’s the main thing that was different from my usual habit – instead of avoiding people, I had to seek them out.  To see if someone’s looking in your direction, you have to look them in the face.  You can’t pretend they’re invisible.  You have to check them out to discover whether or not you’re going to connect with them in that instant, whether it’s just for a quick head nod or for a “Hi, how are you?”  So that was pretty different, but not too bad.  I actually got quite a few smiles, hellos, and head nods returned to me.  Cool.

(Confession: Once I actually started to go down an aisle but I noticed there were several people in it, so I switched to a different one – chicken!!)

After Lowe’s, I took my kids to the park.  Not a lot of action there, but I did say hello to the few people who happened by.

The gym tonight was where I really had problems.  It was crowded – I mean, crazy packed.  And there’s just no way you can push through a sea of people, trying to say hi to everyone for no particular reason, without seeming like a total nutjob.  So I just scanned people’s faces.  I watched every set of eyes to see which ones might drift my way.  Any that did got a personal acknowledgment that I saw them, that I noticed they were there.

Overall today, it was a bit awkward, but everyone I encountered was quite nice and responsive.  Good start.

For the original FEAT NUMBER 1 blog entry, click here.

For the original 52 FEATS blog entry, click here.

52 FEATS – NUMBER 1

3 Jan

Feat: To say hello to every person I see, all week.  EVERY person, even just people I’m passing in a store.  If they’re within 10 feet of me, I plan to acknowledge them.

Why it will be hard: I am such an introvert; in fact, I deliberately avoid eye contact in public.  I sort of pretend like I’m having a conversation with something at the bottom of my purse.

Purpose: To connect with my fellow human beings, possibly also brighten someone’s day.

Inspiration: My uncle.  He says hello to everyone he sees, and often strikes up conversations with complete strangers.  It comes so easy for him, and he’s always been like that.

My initial thoughts: I’m nervous already, and part of me wants to stay home all week to avoid this.  But come on, it’s only the first week – suck it up!!  I just hope people don’t think I’m crazy…

Click here for the original 52 FEATS blog.

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