This blog is part of my search for acceptance and connection. In my youth I often felt very insecure in relation to others. I had difficulty communicating my wants and needs and reacted very emotionally to rejection. I have paid a lot of attention to this over the years. Social anxiety is and always will be something that always will be part of my deep ingrained coping mechanism but I have learned to deal with it and found better ways to connect with myself and others.
For about a year ago I felt that everyone is only looking out for themselves. I am a person that uses the public transfer a lot and I see a lot of strangers every single day. Be it in a bus, tram, train, metro or a ferry. I noticed that people are kinda closed to each other. I missed that feeling of community.
For a period of time back now, I found out that this feeling of closeness wasn’t the peoples problem. What I did realize was that the years that I spend traveling without any contact with strangers was my fault. And with this I was hindering my growth and happiness because I was closing out the world from my personal space.
I needed to change so I started to look at myself, analysing the situations and feelings that I had in social gatherings among strangers. I noticed that only a casual greeting was common, but I never had a real conversation with people I didn’t know. I lived in a bubble. This personal bubble involved: myself, my gadget and my destination. I didn’t pay any attention to what actually was going on in THAT moment around me. When I became more in that moment I tried to push myself into conversations with strangers, but I failed.
I now know why: I lacked self-confidence. I had so much focus on myself that I created a lot of fear when I wanted to talk to a stranger. Fear that was holding me back from being a more open and social person. Some call it: approach anxiety. Some call it: being an introvert. I call it: fear that stops you from living a happier, open and social lifestyle.
To achieve the opposite I’m going to write three blogs about how to live a happier, open and social lifestyle. This three blogs are focused on transforming strangers into friends wherever you want. This will be continued in three parts. I will share some techniques I learned along the way to be a happier and more social person. The first post will be a “10 steps to be more open to strangers“.
Photo taken in Puebla in Mexico.