Thursday, April 26, 2012

being (un)friendly .

I just read a post by a blogger friend named Jacy entitled How To Make New Friends. It was all about putting yourself out there and really at least giving a friendship a shot by taking the first step. Well, I'm going to talk about this from the other point of view. I've never thought of myself as super outgoing, but I wouldn't exactly say that I'm a recluse of any sort. I'm somewhere in the middle, but probably lean towards more of not exactly seeking out friendships actively.


Often times, I make friends kinda by accident. I never make a conscious decision to try to be friends with someone. Sports is the one way that I think is easiest for me... especially if you put in a lot of effort. People respect that and friendships are easily made.

But in terms of striking up conversations with people, I just don't do it. Maybe part of that is because of the part of the country I'm from; those from NYC and Jersey are just not like that. The South is very much a friendly sort of area where I feel like my privacy bubble is popped a lot. Like Jacy said, you kinda gotta read the vibe and see if people are receptive to it or not. Well, boy do I have stories for that:

Flying home for spring break, I had some super old lady sit next to me. She happened to see the textbook sitting in my lap, and began interrogating me about my schooling, what major I was in, where I went, etc. Now, I'd rather not be a total douche, but I did very much want to just sleep, because I've purposely made it a habit to not sleep the night before, specifically so I can sleep through the multiple flights it takes me to get home. I also had to keep taking my headphones out because she kept bugging me with questions. A word to the wise: if someone has their headphones in, they most likely do not want to be bothered.

I was on the plane coming back to school from Jersey to Greenville and some guy politely said hello as I got on. Now I usually do the same, if I'm in the seat next to someone I don't know, especially if I have to move past them for the window seat. He casually asked if I was heading back to college, and I indulged his friendliness for a moment. But I wanted to just study my microeconomics book as I had a test on it soon after I got back, and he wouldn't leave me alone. I have a very hard time telling someone to politely shut up... especially since I got the feeling that he got nervous on flights and was trying to take his mind off of it. Flights don't bother me at all, I fly a good 6 times a year at least (less so now that I have a car though).

Last story. So freshman year of college, I had a routine where I got lunch with one of my roommates after one class all the time. We were coming from different areas on campus though, so I just happened to get to the dining hall first. I sat down with my lunch, and some girl in front of me turned around and asked me if I was eating with anyone. Keep in mind I had my headphones in, hood up over my head, and sunglasses on. Could it possibly be any more obvious I wasn't in the mood to chat with strangers? But she persisted and I was forced to take my headphones out and answer. And I didn't want to be rude, so I accepted.

Then, on top of that, she didn't even provide any conversation! She sat there in silence! I tried, truly, and she was just a brick wall. What a big dumb. My poor roommate arrived and thought I knew the girl, and so indulged her as well. Well we had the fastest lunch ever and bolted out. I mean come on. If you're going to make that leap, you need to at least try.

So that's my side of the story... and probably provides for many of the reasons I'm not a super friendly person to people I don't know. I just don't want to be; I have no problem just sitting by myself and being alone.

10 comments:

  1. I do think a lot of this is regional, as you point out. Friends of mine from the northeast are always taken aback at the openness of southerners. Here in Kentucky, we tend to initiate conversations with strangers on a relatively regular basis. According to my friends from the northeast, this does not happen there. I've always wondered why this cultural difference exists...in fact, from a psychological point of view, I'm fascinated by it. A good friend of mine, from New Hampshire, said that she lived in her neighborhood for 8 years prior to moving here and never had any interaction whatsoever with her neighbors. 8 years! She said that people just don't do that where she's from. That just blew my mind. To be fair though, I am from this area so the idea of know have any interaction with your neighbors in an 8 year span is just foreign to me. But I'm quite certain that there are a lot of things about our southern openness that are equally as suprising to others.

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    1. so true. i've experienced a lot of differences between home (Jersey) and school (South Carolina). It's completely different. You can even sort of see the gradual change happen as you drive down!

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  2. your stories are funny.
    They remind me of my sister. She always has people coming up to her and they just start striking up a conversation and they don't even now her. And, sometimes the conversations seem like they would be more personal...like to talk about with family or friends. Not strangers.
    She doesn't get it!
    You must look like a nice guy for people to feel so comfortable approaching you. Atleast people don't avoid you!

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    1. haha yeah i guess so! Certainly not a bad thing to look approachable :)

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  3. WOW! I had a total opposite impression of you lol I guess that's the magic of blogging(:

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    1. yeah, well, I think that in general I'm a lot more open and friendly via Blogger. Which is not a bad thing, but I'm just not super outgoing and bubbly in person ... usually

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  4. ...so I've somehow stumbled across your blog and quite like it... yet now I'm wondering if this is a right time to say hi... :)

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    1. This comment made me chuckle Hannah :)

      Player, I totally respect people like you... and I appreciate this side of the coin! There have been SO MANY times when the last thing I want to do is yip-yap with people... whether it's because of the person themselves or because I'm just not in the mood... I get exactly what you're saying...

      I guess I was suggesting that if you're wanting to meet new friends, and are unsure how, my post was a good way to start... because from a lot of trial and error I've learned that friends won't magically come to you... sometimes you have to make the first move in starting relationships.... but if you're comfortable and happy with the friends you have and aren't really on the prowl for more and aren't dying to spark up convo with strangers, then there is no need to get out there and be mr aggressive... :)

      Glad you shared this Player!

      Hope you're well!

      Jacy

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    2. Hahaha. Ohhhh the irony... glad you like it Hannah. I'm usually pretty friendly on Blogger though if that helps!

      Jacy, you are totally right on all accounts as usual! Just figured I'd tackle things from another angle!

      Greg

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  5. I have tried to be more open and receptive to meeting others and I like to! There are times when I'm out and about that I'm wanting to just get stuff done, be all into myself, and I think that my body language shows this part of me, the loner, don't bother me part.

    Some people can read others, some can't. But when I'm traveling, out for an adventure....I LOVE soaking in everything and if someone is open to chatting, I'll divulge for a few :)

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