Ten days into this challenge and what have I learned? First, I wasn’t having a problem talking with strangers in general, per say. This is actually one of the possible outcomes of doing a 30 day experiment in your life. You discover whatever it is you’re wanting to learn or change isn’t really what you thought it was when you started.
First off, as soon as I decided to start talking with strangers I did. Without any problem. Setting my intention to do it was enough. Sometimes just a “Hi.” Hi was enough though.
Okay so no problem greeting people in general. By watching myself through the day, who I was having trouble talking with became obvious. Women I found attractive (as in, potentially someone I might want to ask on a date) AND were not in a familiar social context, like a milonga. Even then I could say hi without a problem. Where I really choked was on having a conversation beyond hi. Yeah, brain freeze.
What was behind the brain freeze? A couple of really important ideas which I may have covered in the last post. (I’m not going to look it up. And yes I am feeling that lazy at the moment.)
- Being too concerned with making a good impression. What I relearned for the umpteenth time was it’s much better to make an authentic impression.
- People remember how you make them feel, not so much the specific words you said.
- Authentically, having no expectation. No hoped for result. Just in the moment conversation about things we have in common.
What this all came down to was letting go of the ego-driven fears. It’s taken being willing to practice a little each day. Small success and a limited time commitment make the exercise much less threatening.