Hello out there! As I continue to improve my social skills & connect with others. I got out my comfort zone with being an introvert. Here’s what happened.
Vacia & I stopped at local Bill Millers restaurant for fried chicken. Shortly after customer approach to pay for an order & was told cash only. Overwhelmed with disappointment, she questioned why? I noticed & felt her disappointment & a phrase about kindness from the book “Art of People” fueled me to attempt to reach in my pocket to get money to pay for her meals. But my anxiety fueled by fear of rejection, kept my hand shaking in my pocket. I then got out my head & said “fuck it”& enthusiastically reach in my pocket to pull out my wallet. I then ask how much, while the customer’s jaw drop like it became suddenly dislocated & hanging off her face. She raised her hand in what my anxiety saw as proof positive of rejection. But then again, I got out my head & for a moment everything seems to pause as I saw her as a humble human being who didn’t want to impose. I maintained my resolve & said nobly, “please accept my kindness, no strings attached, you can even pay it forward.” She finally started to graciously accept my random act of kindness. I happily & nervously with excitement extended my hand & we had a nice warm conversation while we waited on our food.
Shortly after the happy customer walked away, my daughter randomly shouted out loud, “look daddy you both work at HEB.” She was referring to an older salt & pepper hair guy staying diagonally behind us. I immediately felt anxious & worry about turning around and & saying hi. I recompose myself & thought, “ :~) another opportunity to connect.” I know this might seem like a lot of time might have pass but all these thoughts were in the first few seconds after vacia’s outburst. I turned & projected an enthusiastic happy smile empowered by my new thought process. We ended up having a nice conversation about his 30 year tenure at HEB.
I left feeling accepted & special. I reach out to another, twice! This was a memorable moment of connection. I learned & got re-enforced on the following 3 big points. If you are genuine & confident with your act of kindness to others, the receiver will almost always be grateful. It is OK to share a genuine smile with another while y’all are waiting in close proximity & why not start a conversation while we wait? I shouldn’t be anxious about looking at & engaging strangers, they are potential friends I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet.