Stop being so uncomfortable

 Matthew (@ojai)7 years, 7 months ago

Ever notice in public how people avoid eye contact if made and don’t feel comfortable speaking to strangers? Don’t do that. See somebody wearing something you think looks good? Just tell them. It’s not too hard. If you catch somebody in eye contact and they look away…don’t look away! It’s like people feel uncomfortable in their own skin? Keep looking…break that uncomfortableness, maybe say hi? Just don’t stare at people creepily haha that’s not going to make many people feel to comfortable.

My whole point is people tend to feel so uncomfortable with strangers. I know everybody is different and some people are too shy to just talk to random people on impulse, though. We shouldn’t be weirded out…spread the love. Not getting on that “hippie level” of hey man tell everyone you love everything about them but if you feel the need then do so! I have found holding back is just that and leaves no space for progression and new opportunities.

Do you guys/girls feel comfortable randomly telling somebody you like something about them and talking to strangers? You might meet some cool people over virtually nothing and their personalities may suprise you, take my word. Have you met any interesting people through “strange” altercations?

It’s not hard to NOT be strangers!

August 11, 2012 at 8:47 am
Kayla A. Taylor (1) (@kaylataylor14) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

@ojai, I always feel comfortable talking to Strangers. I really dont Mind at all . I’ve met Plently of Interesting People through Stranger Altercations. Does it make Sense to say that Interesting Strangers Catched me On my time for a reason ?

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Kyo Zero (4) (@kyozero) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

@ojai, I would agree completely. I love talking to…well anyone. Strangers, friends, students whatever. I try to make it a point to compliment a stranger at least once a day

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kirkwilly (35) (@kirkwilly) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

I think it’s chalked up differently around the world. Here in Atlantic Canada you have to put effort into being a stranger and it’s rude. If your standing in the grocery store line the people behind you are going to strike up a conversation instead of just standing like robots. If your walking down a trail older folks will say hello and let’s their pets say hello as well. If your alone in a parking lot loading up a full cart of big item someone will come over and help. These are contagious acts of kindness that you can’t help but to spread yourself. Every so often you don’t encounter a grouch and but shoot them a smile and be off with it. I love it here! I also love what you said about complimenting someone out of the blue. I think that’s something I haven’t done all that much. Cool reminder you did here:)

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Anonymous (291) (@) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

I’ve met some pretty gnarly people by holding direct eye contact or commenting on something their wearing, looking at, observing, etc.

I don’t understand why its so scary, I understand the whole “were raised differently, different culture thing.” hopefully people have enough common sense to know who not to strike up a conversation with (of which, hahaha I tend to do the opposite) BUT.

Get the fuck out there and make someones. Everyone else is as lonely as us.

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Matthew (1,127) (@ojai) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

@gracesulley, hahaha I love that video. “Nice cigarettes” and the part where he complimented the guys knees were especially great.

But reading these posts I’m glad you guys are likeminded people who understand it’s not that difficult to act this way.

I’d like to hear from shy people too, though, who might have a hard time talking to strangers too and discuss that.

@kirkwilly, that town sounds great. That’s exactly what I am talking about. I might go there in the future if it remains such a place haha

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CaptDugan (22) (@captdugan) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

@kirkwilly, I wish every place was like that, it sounds great.

Down here in FL people are definitely more closed off in public, but It’s not too bad cause it’s fun to be the one to initiate convo and see if the other person opens up.

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Kidd (1,058) (@kidd) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

I agree completely with your post!

I’m not usually one to say anything to passerby strangers, but I try to make a point to at least smile when eye contact is met.

It’s one of the best feelings in the world to get the smile returned.

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mel; (1) (@breeep) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

It’s true, it’s better to live like this. and the reason so many people live in fear of meeting new people and being uncomfortable and awkward all the time is that it’s a skill. To many it comes naturally, and to those people it’s frustrating trying to connect with someone who just won’t go the other 30%. For many, you have to work at it. and practicing for this type of thing is pretty damn stressful, because you can only practice using real-life situations. sometimes you catch the person that’s still in practice.

some don’t make an effort, but for the ones that do, just be patient, this skill can be hard to master :)

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Barbara (0) (@redbandit1) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

I love meeting new people but as a people watcher I’ve learned some interesting things about eye contact. In Latin cultures it is considered rude and provocative to stare into peoples eyes, especially for woman. A woman looking at a man for longer than a few minutes is considered wanton. The same for many Asian countries and Arab countries, remember just because it’s the good old USA doesn’t mean they’ve abandoned their culture. Also because I’m older I’ve had friends that tell me how frightened they get by young people starring at them, again remember we’re bombarded with threat warnings all the time on TV. So I’m sure in states with a lot of older people there are those that are actually fearful of young people. Habits die hard in cultures but keep on reaching out. I’ve even had young people look at me like I must be daft because I strike up conversations with them. But I always find a way to bring a smile if by nothing else than saying nice tattoo, or love your look. I’ve made many friends just by being first to speak.

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TheSkaFish (962)M (@theskafish) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

I love this post. Shyness/social awkwardness, I’ve found, is usually all in your head and doesn’t necessarily exist in real life. No need to psych yourself out when trying to make connections or just being friendly!

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KT (11) (@kathompson1121) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

I’ve also noticed that some girls (you know the type, the ultra pretentious typical biddy that thinks she’s the shit despite her lack of originality or personality) will often avoid eye contact. Usually by sticking her nose in the air and pretending like she doesn’t even see you as you pass by. Usually when I walk past a pretty girl I’ll make eye contact and smile and they almost always smile back… unless its a superficial biddy and in that case I suppose that that is a good thing.

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EternityKait (2) (@eternitykait) 4 years, 12 months ago ago

You shouldn’t judge people when you don’t know their situation. To be honest, these girls probably are just so tired of being approached that they hold themselves in this way intentionally to ward people off. When I became single after being in a long relationship and guys started noticing me, it freaked me out. I would get approached everywhere, on the street, in the library, when I was trying to eat, walk to class etc and not all of these people are friendly. It was creepy. Since I hadn’t been single for a while, I wasn’t used to the attention and I hated it. And you can’t talk your way out of this situation. You try every excuse under the sun: I’m not interested. I have a boyfriend. I’m busy. You’re making me uncomfortable. I’m interested in someone else. Literally anything. and nothing gets them away. It was such a hassle and constant fear of confrontation that I found myself intentionally making a bitchface or looking away or just carrying myself like I wanted to intimidate everyone I saw. And no one bothered me after that. But I realized I was turning myself into someone I didn’t want to be, and I didn’t like the fact that I came off as unapproachable so I’ve become a lot friendlier. But in some situations I can’t help reverting back to my “stone-cold bitch” persona just to avoid an unpleasant and awkward conversation that I really don’t want to be having.

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icymore (11) (@icymore) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

This is what bothers me the most about working in retail. I encounter tons of people every day, and if I’m lucky I’ll have a genuine human interaction with one or two of them. To them I’m just the robot who puts out the merchandise or tells them where the restrooms are. I think most people don’t truly see those who work in the stores and restaurants where they spend their money as actual human beings. They’re much more concerned about the junk they’re buying.

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MadelynIrene (6) (@madelynirene) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

i tend to be relaxed and trusting (naive?) around strangers, i give them the benefit of the doubt, in terms of trusting them with any kind of casual interaction, but I have enough common sense and intuition to keep me safe. I’ve had a few meaningful conversations with strangers. You know they are meaningful when even though it seems like small talk, we know somehow on a certain level that corresponding, resounding connection with that strange person. all of a sudden its as if you’ve known them before, or if you don’t feel that way its like curiously looking into a window of another person’s life. if you feel chills or something strikes a chord with you about that person, it not only becomes a verbal communication, rather another energy from that person is affecting you in a certain way that resonates with You. by listening to these feelings and emotions inside you can teach yourself a lot about who you are and why you are caused to feel certain emotions when meeting complete strangers, for example. is it because of how you were raised? what previous encounters with strangers made you feel this way about the one you are looking at now? any habitual, stereotypical biases or prejudices go through your mind? break free from the lifestyle and thoughts of the materialistic world and start thinking for yourself and from your one true Mind.. who knows, maybe strangers will start looking less and less stranger as you come to realize we are all One and the same.

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Anonymous (2,833) (@) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

Good post, but I’ve never had the urge to tell anyone what their wearing looks good.

Unless its leaves and sticks. That shit looks kick ass.

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Anonymous (130) (@) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

The timidity blockage is a inner blockage, the suppression of an inner tendency. IF you also have to block the shacking of the last blockage, you probably get Parkinson`s.

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Nikolaj Katballe (12) (@niko2210) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

Good point there!
I have a relative who once went by bus in Africa all alone. In my country, people tend to chose the seat farthest from any strangers when they step onto the bus. But in Africa it’s the opposite. A man stepped onto the bus and chose the seat next to my relative and then he proceeded to small-talk through the whole trip.

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Anonymous (130) (@) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

@niko2210, don`t you find it interesting that small talk is used by the people that are nervous for its calming effects, i wonder why the “normal people” small talk?

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Anonymous (2,654) (@) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

@ojai, thanks for that. There comes a point when one gets too obsessive about it and starts talking shit to strangers they don’t fucking care about at all though. I usually play along, but not feeling uptight around people is something I agree with. I always have to be the one to break the ice in a group. Oh well. Smiles and honesty.

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Damage_Controll (18) (@simple7enigma) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

@ojai, i dont have any problem with strangers or interacting with them, but it seems to be every time i do begin to interact they want ti fight me. I try my hardest not to say anything extreme or offensive and i offer compliments, but still they want to fight me. What do you think about that?

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Jess (24) (@seelifebe) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

@ojai, as a shy person that loves people, I’m definitely on the fence about this. I’m doing my best to break out of my shell and have real fucking conversations (because when they happen, they’re great! The best, most alive feelings are often from human connection with someone you’re just meeting and I want more of it) but I’m just very shy and don’t know what to say. This goes to @ojai and everyone in this thread; any advice on striking up conversation and not being so intimidated by the ‘strangeness’ of strangers that us shy guys feel?

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Matthew (1,127) (@ojai) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

Forgot to come back to this post! Glad you guys enjoy the topic, I’m feelin the love, high fives all around.

@seelifebe, Well, here is how I look at it…they’re a stranger right? You know nothing about them and they know nothing about you, except how you look, obviously. @beyond, said it well – “Smiles and honesty”. If you’re genuinely interested in meeting somebody new or feel that you want to say something, let it flow. Why restrict yourself is how I see it. You might miss out on somebody awesome! I can honestly tell you, if I never thought this way, I wouldn’t have met some of the most important people in my life! It’s a cliche but “just be yourself” does ring true here. You have nothing to lose, right? This person isn’t even a part of your life if you’re strangers. I mean, unless of course it’s a situation where you see this person often but haven’t had the ‘courage’ to strike up a conversation. But say it’s just a random person you run into…just be loving, friendly, make eye contact to let them know your attention is given but not too much, smile, be honest, respectful, listen to what they’re saying when they talk and ask them questions. People like to know that you’re interested in what they’re talking about, be receptive.

Not making a “how to” guide on how to talk but those are generally the things I feel are how you can have a smooth conversation. Don’t think to yourself like “okay remember to smile, ask questions, eye contact but not too much…….” there is no methodical mindset behind it but generally people like these things when you’re getting to know them. So, like I said, just try and get rid of that restriction feeling you have! I can’t relate to how you feel but my best advice is like I said. Let it flow.

@madelynirene, I really did very much like what you had to say there. I’m glad I came back to this discussion and read that. : ]

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Kaataa (14) (@kaataa) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

For me it’s not that I don’t know what to say, but I am afraid of bothering people or having them view me negatively, as I am very concerned with how others view me.

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Matthew (1,127) (@ojai) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

@kaataa, Well, why are you very concerned with how others view you? Why such strong and absolute concern?

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Kaataa (14) (@kaataa) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

I believe that “Don’t worry about what others think” is terrible advice.
I think it’s more admirable for people to cooperate within a community and so I do not want people to have to deal with someone who they do not like, me, so I try to to make sure I come off to them as someone they can respect and possibly admire.

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Kaataa (14) (@kaataa) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

@ojai, It is not as if I would do something that I am uncomfortable with or something that I do not agree with just to get people to like me, but I feel that it is not their duty to like me and so I should try to get them to like me just so that I can increase my chances of them liking me. I do understand though that some people will not like you no matter what, so while I worry myself over it, I don’t feel I worry myself over it at an unhealthy level.

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