The Shyness Project

Catching up with a Friend and Talking with My Neighbor

Well I didn’t talk to any strangers today, but I still had a pretty great day.  In the morning I went on a walk with my mom and it was nice because the park was pretty quiet and peaceful and it was also a sunny day.  Afterward we went to Safeway and picked up some groceries, where I had been planning to talk to the check-out lady, but all I could think of to talk about was the same thing I used before, the “pretty quiet day today?” type of intro, and I wanted to think of something different that would be generic enough to use.  But by the time it was our turn, I hadn’t thought of anything else, so I didn’t say anything.  I’ll have to think of some other things to say, or just use that intro again anyways.

After Safeway I called my friend who I had lost contact with ever since she moved two years ago.  We had talked a little on facebook, but I had promised her that I would call her soon so I did.  I hadn’t called her before because we kinda just lost touch and I was shy about just calling her up and trying to reconnect.  But we finally talked today, and it was a great conversation.  I’m really happy I got to talk with her.  She’s going through a lot of the same things as I am, worrying and stressing about what major to choose and what to do for a career and what not.  It was good to talk about that since we both feel the same way that it’s really hard to make a decision right now of what we want to do.

After I finished talking with her, which was about after an hour or so, I went over to my neighbor’s house to return the dish she had brought over when she gave us cookies.  My mom had baked scones and brought some over to her, and she returned the favor by bringing us cookies too!  It was a nice thing for her to do.  I had been wanting to talk to her about walking her dogs Penny and Dexter.  I noticed them whining and howling a lot when she was at work all day and wanted to see if it was ok with her if I took them on walks.  I was about to ask her about that while petting her dogs(who were very excited to see me by the way, I love those dogs) and then she surprised me by asking if she could pay me to walk them!  I said yeah, I’d love to!  I told her I was going to ask if I could take them on walks anyways because I enjoyed spending time with them.

So it was pretty cool, I had just been planning on returning her dish, seeing her dogs, and asking if I could take them on walks, and I actually got a little job out of it, and we had a great conversation too!  We talked for an hour or so about careers and I asked her about her job as a Respiratory Therapist, and other health related jobs.  We also talked about art and she told me about how painters have used their art to make a difference.  One of the stories was that a painter had been hired to paint the Royalty people, and in addition or instead he painted the lower class and poor people, which at the time was pretty rebellious and unheard of.  To people during that time, him painting the poor was like someone painting the dump, it was just never really done before and was shocking.  Another painter painted these midgets that were being used as pets by some cruel group, and he used these paintings to show the emotions and deeper sides to the midgets that had been so cruelly treated.  So it was definitely interesting hearing about how art can make a difference, and it made me want to do some more research.

So even though I didn’t talk to a stranger today, I still feel like I accomplished a lot and was more outgoing, and it made me feel great!  I’m tired, but at the same time energized.  I’ve read books that say that spending time with people drains introverts and energizes extroverts, but I don’t really think it’s all that black and white.  I think it’s a mix of both for me, and I consider myself an introvert for sure.  I enjoy making deeper connections with people and having a great conversation, but being outgoing all day does get tiring.  But I do enjoy it.

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4 thoughts on “Catching up with a Friend and Talking with My Neighbor

  1. That’s really nice that you got to catch up with an old friend. And I agree with you that some people try to make strict categories for people, but I think most people have mixed ways of interacting with other people. I feel that I am introverted, but I do enjoy talking in certain settings, about certain things, with certain people. And my sister who is more outgoing can be shy and quiet in certain situations. People are multi-dimensional.

    • Yeah, I’m glad I got to catch up with her too. Sometimes I’m afraid that I’m going to lose some of my friends when we don’t keep in better touch.

      I agree completely, I would certainly consider myself an introvert, but if I’m talking in a small group or one on one about something that I have a lot to say about, then I feel and act a lot more outgoing. It’s just a little annoying how often I read books(mostly ones on choosing a career) that state that introverts are drained by being around people all day and extroverts are energized by being around people all day. There isn’t a sentence after that explaining that any middle ground is possible. But I think most people would know that people are multi-dimensional and aren’t just “one or the other”. Thanks for the comment Faith! 🙂

  2. You can’t climb a mountain every day, but you had a great 24 hours anyway. Good for you!

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