Submitted by tuesday in lobby

I'm waiting for an oil change in this little lobby with other folks who are waiting and this guy walks in to wait and just starts talking to everyone. Just starting with stuff about the storm in New York and his family out there. Now he's in a conversation with this kid who works in plane manufacturing about the importance of joining the union. Talking about Right to Work states and stuff.

I've always been fascinated by folks who can do that. I'm quiet and shy, feel awkward when I'm saying anything to anyone. I have no idea how to talk to people I'm close to. I've had friends like this and I'm in awe of it every time. How do you go out to get a bottle from the liquor store and come home with an invitation to a bbq? How do you go out for an oil change and end up convincing someone to join a union?

I'm hella jealous.



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andro wrote

Just remember that the way you are also comes with its advantages. That guy is a stranger to the kid, and maybe the conversation will have an impact but maybe it won't. But when you and I as quiet people slowly (for me very slowly) get to know people, we build credibility and relationships through having basic human decency and being laid back. Then, even it takes months, the perfect moment comes to say something important, and people listen to us because we've shown that we aren't hot-headed or reactive.


Fool wrote

One of my brothers is like this. He's says it is like, just waiting is boring, so he'll start conversations about random topics with strangers, and as such if I went out with him, he'd know half the people in the club/bar. My dad did it too, though I think he had purposefully tried to build the skill, because he was awkward and constantly said insulting things without realising it.


JackBinimbul wrote

I think he had purposefully tried to build the skill, because he was awkward and constantly said insulting things without realising it.

This is me!


asterism wrote

My brother is sort of like this but instead everyone wants to talk to him. He just seems approachable to people. Like everytime I am with him in public a total stranger comes up and asks him for a favor.


roanoke9 wrote

I can relate to both, because I can be both, and cannot really control which one I get to be. It's mood dependent. Life of the party or cannot leave the house or speak. Sometimes this can be best of both worlds, sometimes worst of both worlds. Because inconsistency has its own drawbacks.


JackBinimbul wrote

I think I'm accidentally one of these people.

I don't go out of my way to talk to others. I'm not shy, but I'd rather just carry on with my life alone. However, I have this self-preservation instinct where I will engage in ways that seem appropriate.

I live in a conservative state and am a visible minority. Humanizing myself to others is how I stay alive.

From the outside, it must look like I've ended up in a 10 minute conversation about salamanders.


tuesday OP wrote

I hadn't considered the potential for self-preservation and humanizing self. That makes a lot of sense as a way of dispelling potential animosity. From what it's worth from the outside it looks really cool that you can find the most random things to connect to other people about, like salamanders. :)


fortmis wrote

My whole family is kinda like this. No idea where it comes from on my mom's side, but my dad grew up working in as little cornerstore / grocery that my grandpa owned, it was at a popular intersection and was the spot for many folks in the neighbourhood. In many ways it was more than just a store, it was a social hub of sorts, and my dad growing up in this environment where anyone could walk through the door I think learned the social (and business) value of being able to engage with anyone. In some ways I think it was a matter of survival for immigrant families (my grandpa being first gen) and for someone running a storefront business, and in other ways I think it was just how they wanted to live their lives.


Ormuz wrote

honestly same, i'm a complete recluse and as a result i have little to no social skill so it amazes me that people could like... just walk upto a random person and talk?