Day 3.6

1 Oct

Do I have anything interesting? Well, I am going to New York tomorrow morning to visit my girlfriend. I’m actually looking forward to going to the big city again. It’s so alive with so many interesting people. I think it will be very much like my trip to Toronto couple month ago. Except this time I’m more extroverted than before, which makes me even more exciting. The only thing is that I have to wake up at 3am to catch the flight. And I’m coming back by train on Thursday, which is apparently a 10 hour ride.

As to the last two days. I wasn’t feeling too social. Trip planning kept me busy. Today I did meet some new people at a new club that I joined. I didn’t feel like I fit in there, but I stuck around and will go again when I get back. I’m just trying to push my comfort zone. As an introvert I learned that I take a while to get used to people, surroundings, and activities. So, I think with every time that I will come to this club I will a little more familiar with it and will get used to it more. It’s like a social practice.

Conclusions:

  • Introverts take a while to get used to people, situations and surroundings.
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Day 3.5

28 Sep

Yesterday I broke the ice with miscellaneous items. I talked to people while we were all waiting in tutor’s office hours. It was great. I helped out one guy so he didn’t have to wait and got complemented on my laptop 🙂 I start to think of meeting people as opportunity. Every time you meet someone there’s a good chance that you’ll learn something new or teach someone something. That is what communication is for, really – to pass the knowledge around. Well, also to make people comfortable around one another.

A long meeting regarding event planning proved once again that lengthy conversations (or brainstorming sessions) are not for me. 3 hours of pressured communication is nothing relaxing for an introvert. I kept my contributions short and to the point and sometimes just summed up other people’s points. It works well for me, as I’m not very creative, so I have to borrow other people’s ideas and combine them in new ways.

Conclusions:

  • Communication servers two purposes: to make people comfortable around one another and to pass on knowledge

Day 3.4

27 Sep

And another acquifriend is added to the list. Which means that I’ve actually made 1 more acquifriend this month than my goal required. And we’re not even half way through the month. That’s awesome! This weekend I, along with 4 other directors, was organizing a big event for student body so it’s been really busy and hectic. At the events though, there was plenty of opportunities for me to talk to all sorts of people. I enjoyed it a lot! Like any leadership position, there’s a certain amount of stress to go along with the work that you do. For instance one part of the event was showing movies, and our VCR (yes we had the movies on tape 🙂 ) went missing. 10 minutes and 5 unhappy patrons later the show went on. What I learned from this event is that people want to be good at what they do, i.e. they want to do a good job. The key role of a leader is to be very clear and specific in what it is that needs to be done.

I’m preparing for small argument with one of the directors. It will be a perfect chance to practice assertiveness. We have a meeting tomorrow so in my next post I should be able to report on that.

I’m still working on approaching strangers. During last weekend’s event I had a perfect excuse to approach many people who I don’t know. Yet I only did so with two or three strangers. I guess I just keep pushing myself and eventually it will get easy.

Conslusions:

  • Majority of people will do their best on a job, if the job is well defined
  • Approaching strangers seems to be pinnacle of my journey to being more extroverted… at least for right now

Day 3.3

23 Sep

A few interesting things have happened recently. First, I went to a bar with an acquifriend (which I haven’t done in a long time). Somehow, not sure how exactly this happened, I ended up actually dominating the conversation. I mean it was just the two of us at the table at first and I swear I talked at least 75% of the time. Later in the night a friend of my acquifriend joined us. She had a very thick accent and I could barely make out anything she was saying (the loud music didn’t help either). So, this new girl, from what I did hear her say, was all about travel. She encouraged me very passionately to quit school and live abroad. I was like ok, that’s a touch too radical. But I was polite about it and tried changing the subject a couple of times, only to have her return to the matter in 5 minutes. Well, I guess some people just don’t get when their (this girl’s) views of the world clash with someone’s else (mine). When we were leaving the bar, I thought I noticed someone I know sitting at a table with a bunch of people. I gave her a light tap on the back, and turns out it was some random girl. She gave me a creepy/confused look while I said “Sorry, wrong person”. It was quite awkward, but hey happens to everyone!

Another peculiar bit is that I started running into people that I can talk to. This was one of my main motivations for this blog and I can see that things are heading in the right direction. What I really like to concentrate on for the next little while is talking to strangers at the library, bus stop, groceries store, etc. I want to push my comfort zone still further. I finally start to realize how much value other people can bring into one’s life. It’s quite amazing!

Conlclusions:

  • Don’t touch people you’re not sure you know… People don’t like to be touched by strangers.
  • I still don’t understand how people talk over the loud music in bars/clubs

Day 3.2

21 Sep

Another aquifried to add to my circle of friends! Everything is going great. I interact with acquaintances and acquifirends on daily basis, now, which is a definite step up from 3 months ago. I found that getting evolved in student run organizations really helps in expanding one’s circle of friends. For those who aren’t in school, there are still interest clubs around, like cooking, sports, improv, etc. It’s important to get out there an meet people and may be even more important is to experience new things to have a fulfilling life.

I remember in first month I really focused my posts on small things. The conversations I had, what went well, what didn’t. Now that I’ve become a little more outgoing I simply can’t keep track of all the interactions. I will try to find some of the more instructive or interesting ones. In the last 2 days I got nothing out of the ordinary, just a regular day with 3-4 conversations each day. It’s pretty good for an introvert 😉

Conclusions:

  • Get involved to get friends (it’s really the simplest way)

Day 3.1

19 Sep

Was I lazy these past couple of day or what? Haven’t bloged for what it seems like ages. It may have something to do with the fact that I feel more confident in my interactions (and I’ve begun to have more of those recently). But it was mainly laziness that prevented me from posting here.

Well, I’ve got a new acauifrind early on this month. It wasn’t like I had all 5 interactions with him over two days. I actually was trying to befriend him last month too, but I ran out of time. I’ve started 4 conversations with strangers! Wohoo! How do I start them you ask. It’s easy you just comment on something in the room. I used to either sit with my close friends in class or alone (not talking to anyone). Now I sit wherever I want and talk to whoever I want. It feels quite good actually. I feel a little extroverted in that way. Using people names I can’t get around too. Ok, this Monday it will be my goal for the day – to use people’s names when I see them. Forcing it is the only way I’m gonna get this item accomplished. Miscellaneous rubric needs my attention as well. There’s nothing for me to report about it so far. I will try on Tuesday to do something miscellaneous.

Regarding my interactions, they have been great last week. I started lots of conversations with strangers. Some of them were longer, some shorter, but at least I can start conversations now. It’s a first step, right? I had 3 really long one-on-one conversations in which I was fully engaged in and left on a high note, as opposed to waiting for my energy to be completely drained. Oh, and contributing to conversations, both group and one-on-one, has been a lot easier for me in the last little while. I actually was conducting a meeting for 4 people and myself. You know? Keeping everyone focused on the agenda and what not. Good times.

Conclusions:

  • When playing team sports, interact with your team. “Nice shot!” or a high five should not be neglected.

Third Month Goals

13 Sep

One epiphany that came to me this month was that the more people you know the more people you get to know. It is so simple, and yet I never thought of it before. This is the basis of networking. You get to know some people, they introduce you to more people, and those people introduce you to more people, etc. By introduce I don’t necessarily mean, “hey, have you met this guy…” What I mean is that if you see an acquaintances of yours talking in a group of strangers you now have a completely legitimate excuse to break into that group and start meeting new people. So, the take away of the month for me is to expand my network of friends. I guess that’s what I always wanted to do but 2 month ago I wasn’t sure how to get there. Now I know 🙂

Now, what are my goals this month. It’s been impossible so far to make 5 acqufriends in one month. Hence, I’m gonna bring that number down to just 3. Goal one is make 3 aquifriends this month.

I feel that I no longer have a problem contributing to conversations. However, I do need to diversify my topics still. Let’s leave 3 topics in 20 one conversations up there as one of the goals. This means contributing to 3 topics in one conversation (one-on-one or group discussion) or suggesting new topics for conversation.

Going out and partying I will leave as is. I really want to keep it up. So, go out 10 times and party twice. Similarly, I will continue working on striking conversations with strangers and using people’s names whenever possible. Thus, talk to 7 strangers and use people’s names 7 times this month.

Finally, it’s time to add some new goals. For this I went through the last month’s conclusions day by day and noted the most common ones. Taking breaks was the most frequent conclusion. This has to do with being overwhelmed by large crowds. There’s really nothing to be worried about. There’s no spotlight shining on you. Someone may notice that you feel out of place – so what? They will just move along in their conversation meanwhile you will find someone to talk to anyways. Still, if anxiety ever gets to me, I will excuse myself and take a break from people for 5 – 10 minutes.

Hmmm… still no extra goals. How about this, I will make a miscellaneous goal category, where I will count things related to conclusions from prior posts. Things like visualizing successful interactions, keeping tabs on current news, breaking into talking circles and so on would make it into this category. Say, 10 miscellaneous things this month. This is really an experiment category and I’m not even sure if it will work or not. It doesn’t hurt to try though.

All right, I’m all set for another month of the journey from introvert to extrovert.