I have had a successful career in Sales for over twenty years, so I have been talking to complete strangers my entire adult life. I have walked into many businesses without an appointment and sparked up conversations in order to gather information or gain access to decision makers; this all feels very comfortable to me. I even don’t mind standing in front of a room to present or train.
So why is it that my neighbors send out an email saying they are coordinating a gathering to share some food and get to know each other and I immediately go into escape mode?
I did live in a subdivision years ago where the neighbors were all very close. They walked into each other’s yards (and houses) daily. The defied my need for personal space and did not leave me feeling like my home was a sanctuary.
Perhaps part of it is also because meeting people is what I do professionally, and most people don’t want to “work” during their personal time. While I love travel, I am mostly a homebody and can be very protective of my free time so I avoid making many commitments.
I am also a low volume, high quality type of friendship person. I don’t desire a large group of friends to associate with. For those with whom I invest in, they are the individuals that I would drop nearly anything for to be at their side in time of need. When I see their name pop up on my phone, an immediate smile forms on my face and I always answer the call. These are individuals I respect and lean on for input, suggestions and a good laugh.
I am forcing myself to attend the neighborhood meet and greet, as it seems the right thing to do, it is good to have people close by that keep an eye out for you, and I know logically the only way to develop more of those quality relationships is by starting with some surface level meaningless banter. I shall pull up my big girl britches and interact, smile and hope it all worthwhile in the end.