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I Talk Talk, I Talk to You

Monday, August 13, 2012

I wanted to post this cutie as I love the colors on that pic.

Anyway ....

It's another Monday. Time for another rant. Or, maybe not.

I have been thinking about communication lately, and about socializing.

I come from a background that generally frowned upon socializing. I mean more in the work environment than elsewhere.

I never really had good party skills. I'm still lousy at sticking my hand out and introducing myself, even at networking events or the like, where it is expected, nay, encouraged.

I just feel so weird about it, still. I am nearly 50 years old and should be utterly comfortable in my own skin. And I mostly am. But I still find it weird to just sort of foist myself on others at events. I do far better in one on one situations, or in huge speaking halls. I have zero fear of public speaking, possibly because I don't have to look anyone squarely in the eye. The bigger the crowd, the better! I love it, no lie.

But get me to a party and I want to hide.

It used to be, I'd hide in the clam dip. I've gotten better at that, and am a lot more likely to hide behind fizzy water with a twist of something or other.

Anyway - communications.

One of the best and easiest ways I have found to communicate in person is by having something - anything! - in common with the person I am approaching. Wanting to network, to me, is not enough. It's got to be more than that.

Early last week, I saw a guy with his black lab off leash. The dog was friendly, came over and immediately leaned into me as I starting scratching the part that, obviously, the big beast could not reach. The guy came up and said, "That's Dakota." And the guy had some sort of a Western accent that I could not place. Colorado? New Mexico? Maybe one of the Dakotas? I dunno. I gave Dakota another scratch and we went our separate ways.

This morning, as I was walking along, almost back to my house (this was at around 7:15 AM or so - it's been way too hot to walk much later than that), I see a guy across the street, walking a big black lab and the guy waves at me first! Holy cow. So I wave back. I did not cross to say hi but there was still that smidgen of contact as Dakota and friend undoubtedly went home to enjoy a hearty breakfast, etc.

And that got me to thinkin', which is always dangerous.

Maybe I was the first person who said hi to this new guy in Boston, ever. And he's probably pretty far from home or, at least, far from wherever he got his accent. And while he's got Dakota, I am guessing that Dakota does not speak a lot of English.

If I hadn't gone walking that day, if I had let the heat and the humidity and the general chewiness of the air keep me from getting some aerobic exercise in, I would have missed this encounter. And Dakota would not have gotten scratched (at least, not by me). And the dude might not have had anyone say hello to him, maybe.

The point I am attempting to make is - there is more going on than just one foot in front of the other, burn calories, rack up the steps on the pedometer, tote that barge, etc. It is a true bit of community.

I have long maintained that obesity and depression are linked. They are married. They are Siamese-freakin' twins. And we lock ourselves away. And society PUTS us away. They don't want to deal with us. They don't want to hear. And they sure as hell don't want to SEE.

So get out there anyway. And pet the dogs and say good morning and crook your finger at children in strollers in a little private wave and pick up a stray bit of trash if you see any and take a photo of your neighbor's prize petunias and scan the horizon for distant ships or trucks as the case may be, but by all means GO OUT THERE.

It is not about pedometers and personal bests.

It is about being a prized, functioning and, dare I say it, beloved member of your community. Here in the United States, we have locked ourselves away in our little castles. Put down the damned drawbridge and get out there.

And I bet those dragons would like a few scratches on their rumps, too.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Fantastic blog! Drawbridge is lowered...I will be saying hello to many people tomorrow. Thanks for paying it forward...and giving us something to think about.
    1534 days ago
    I'll never forget the bright cheers I got when I was a new "runner" going up a hill. A seasoned runner going the other way shouted encouragements and really gave my feet wings. It takes so little effort and can potentially mean so much. Connecting with others...
    Scratch Dakota from me too, next!
    1534 days ago
    Phew how true. I am only just admitting to myself how much emotion has to do with overeating or over anything. In fact I am making myself a nervous wreck by looking into the face of anxiety. A big surprise because I think I project to everyone a calm self assurance. To myself as well. The thing is whether it is anxiety or depression or whatever we have gotten so great at managing it but it still comes out in a way...maybe over eating. My way. You are so right too about just getting on with it. Putting the draw bridge down. Reaching out. Now my task is to stop stuffing the anxiety while I am skillfully putting down the drawbridge. Multi tasking at its finest. Great blog. Thanks
    1535 days ago
    I dunno exactly what you 'do' in real life (lol) but if you don't write - I mean, really WRITE - you're missing your calling.

    What a terrific blog! You've put such a great start to my day... not to mention some inspiration and motivation!
    1535 days ago
    I'm shy in front of crowds and one on one. After reading this, I feel encouraged to try to be more friendly.
    1535 days ago
    I like this and apply it myself. Yesterday it was going up to a little boy who had a John Deere hat on like mine and saying "we have the same hats!" Connections are very important, even with strangers.
    1535 days ago
    Totally agree!

    And the people who walk or run with sunglasses and earphones make me nuts - it's like a sign saying "leave me alone!!!"
    1536 days ago
    Loved this blog. emoticon emoticon And pic of dog is so cute
    1536 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/13/2012 11:57:04 AM
    1536 days ago
    Me too!
    1536 days ago
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