Everybody goes through it at some point in their life. Some more than others, especially through work. I’m talking of course, about the simple task of meeting someone new.
For some people the whole experience is just too much. Palms get sweaty, you stumble with what words to say, you can’t make direct eye contact. Thats normal, many people go through that every time they meet someone new.
I work in retail. I meet new people everyday but its usually just a simple “Hello, how are you?” then I ring up their items and say “bye have a nice day!” But one day I decided to get to know one of the customers.
His name was “Bill” (names have been changed). He is the manager of walmart and he love, love, loves his life. Now, Bill was the perfect person to choose to do this experiment with. He is a very kind and honest person, so it made it very easy to have a conversation with him. He walked in and before I could even greet him, he said my line to me; “Hi, how are you this evening?” I noticed I got the same warm feeling I always get when a person asks me a question in a genuine way. “I’m doing great, how about yourself?” The typical response I give. That was how our meet and greet began. I didn’t get the nervous feeling I sometimes get when meeting important people, like a boss, or executive, or anyone who may be very important. There was no pressure while talking to him, he was very relaxed which made me relaxed. I notice when I meet someone new I tend to feed off their particular energy. If they are sad, I’m sad. If energetic, I’m energetic. There have been times though when I have gotten so nervous that my voice goes up a few octaves and I smile this big fake smile and talk really fast, I also use my hands to emphasize the matter. With Bill, he made it the opposite of awkward and I appreciated that. But thats just the type of person Bill is. In just fifteen minutes I learned all about the crazy, amazing, life Bill is living. Even though he was struck by a tragedy just three months after his wedding he was still holding strong. He is probably the most incredible guy I have ever met.
I smiled a lot, and nodded my head that I understood everything he was saying. I got excited when he got excited and rather than flailing my hands and arms around enthusiastically, I stood leaning on the counter just listening in awe. Until my mindful living class, I had never realized the simple experience of just meeting someone new! Its an everyday thing for me to meet a new person because of my work, but never have I actually paid close attention to what I did in the process.