I was fortunate enough to have lunch today with a very good friend and my Mom and the topic of humans beings and the masks we wear came up. We all had a very healthy discussion about the pros and cons of being authentic everywhere we go versus the easy route of choosing a social setting where we don’t have to expose to the world who we “really” are.
We all know the feeling when we walk into a social setting and there isn’t anyone there that we know. Many thoughts enter our head. Do we leave because it would be uncomfortable to talk to someone new? Do we stay because we don’t want to upset the person who invited us? Do we find the nearest drink station and get something in our hand so we don’t stand there looking awkward?
There are as many scenarios that can play out as there are people on this planet, and we have the choice to choose each one any given moment. The real question is this: What are we afraid of? Are we afraid of someone actually getting to know we you are as an individual human being with our own unique set of values, skills and morals? What is the danger in being vulnerable in a new setting that we haven’t experienced before?
Most people will tell us that they don’t feel comfortable because they don’t know and trust new people. They have to earn our trust over time to be able to get to know the “real” you, the “authentic” you.
I will challenge you with this question: What is the worst thing that can happen? Will someone come up and shoot you dead if they don’t agree with what you have to say? NO!! There is nothing wrong with being who you are as an individual in any setting.
Personally, I enjoy going out into society and finding new social settings where I am almost forced to meet new people and interact with them. It’s very healthy to stretch yourself outside of your comfort zone and see what the results are. I’m sure once you try it, you will realize that it’s not so bad! For the most part, there are good people in this world who are just as scared and afraid as you are to converse with new people. Why not be the one to break the ice and engage in conversation? Hell, you might even make a new friend or two!
I wasn’t always so outgoing, and to be honest I still fight with the fear of rejection every time I meet someone new. But I have learned to just power through it and JUST DO IT. Once you make it habit, then it becomes second nature to start conversations everywhere you go.
I have met so many wonderful people on planes, in coffee shops, at networking events and many other social settings and have been my goofy, inquisitive, and sometimes loud self without getting shot… and so can you 🙂