Since I was about 13, I had this idea to make up business cards with my name and phone number, with the catchphrase “ladies man, mans man, man about town” in cursive writing. I have never made these cards because it would be misleading. I am, in point of fact, a woman. Not a man. So while it’s a great concept, you can see the problem with it.
Nonetheless, I have always been and will always be a “woman about town”. I like to make friends wherever I go! I smile a lot. I ask strangers weird questions like “what’s in the bag? Is it a gift for your mom?”. I comment on stuff, and make open ended replies to other people’s comments. Every time I go out in White Rock I run into someone I know, and I like that. It’s not because I’ve lived here my whole life either. It’s because first, I’ve had like 30 jobs so if you’re reading this we’ve probably worked together at some point. And second, because I’m friendly.
When I was married, I wasn’t like this. I had friends, but was far less social than I am now. I was married to a kind of wilful hermit. Now, two and a half years after the split, he’s happy as pie to be the way he is. And I’m just as happy to be the way I am.
I think a lot of people would like to be more friendly and outgoing…some people prefer solitude, and if that’s the case with you then God bless ya. If, however, you’re yearning to be a man or woman about town and have not devised a plan yet to escape from your pesky shell of self-consciousness, then I have one question for you: WHY?
Here’s what you need to know: I don’t care WHO you are, WHAT you do or WHERE you’re from. YOU are amazing. There is something about you that is so special and so cool and deserves to be appreciated by as many people as you can access. When you walk into a room, you need to GET this. Every person in that room, even if they don’t know it yet, would be lucky to talk with you, to know you and to be your friend. You’re not better than anyone, that’s not what I’m saying…but the absolute only difference between you and the people you perceive as better are GUTS. And no human being doesn’t have to work at having guts. So get some!
I remember when I started networking for my business. I was 26, never been to business school, just starting out with no idea what I was doing, and terrified of going to a hotel and talking about it…especially in front of a crowd. But our partner who was doing sales left, and I had no choice. So I went. I spoke. Over and over. I felt nauseous every time. And then a funny thing happened…after a while of going to these functions, I started to realise that people liked me. They didn’t know what I didn’t know about business. They had no idea how nervous it all made me, they just…liked me. So I started to relax. And I got better at my business. And I listened to them, and learned even more, until eventually, for some reason, I started getting requests to teach networking. Because apparently all you really need to do is talk less, listen more and have a genuine interest in and appreciation for people. Also compliment them and mean it. If you think it, say it. Don’t you like when people say nice things to you?
So yes, now I tell my drycleaner I love her. And she loves me back. Because at this point, it doesn’t make me feel embarassed to be efusive. It makes my day actually. And hopefully hers too. I know that restraining order was just a token of affection…;)