When I was a child I was very outgoing and loved to socialize. Everywhere I went I just meshed in really well with other people. My mom even joked that I could just made friends with anyone. Of course as I grew older that behavior changed, as an adult I do not go out of my way to socialize with people I do not know and even find myself feeling a little shy in social situations. It is really interesting how much a person can change over the course of their lives. I chose to undertake this challenge because I wanted to put myself out of my comfort zone and try something new. So for three consecutive days I interacted with strangers, I gave them small compliments and pushed myself out of my comfort zone to try to brighten their day.
On the first day of this challenge I was pretty nervous. I felt uncomfortable and awkward so I decided to start small. I received a notice that I had a package in my apartment complex’s office and figured I would try starting this challenge there. I walked in, requested the package, and started up a conversation. I told the woman helping me that I loved her sweater and it ended up becoming a twenty-minute conversation. I was surprised that I actually had a lot of fun chatting with her. Her initial reaction was to smile and thank me. I think that our small chat made her day a little brighter, and I am unsure if she would tell her friends or not. I enjoyed this experience and was definitely less apprehensive of the next days attempt. I would not mind popping back into the office and chatting again with her if I get the chance.
On the second day I was still nervous to be trying this again, but not to the degree of the previous day. I was in Starbucks sitting at a table after meeting with a wedding photographer, and this older gentleman was sitting at the table next to me asked me what my nationality was. I told him that I was Irish and Norwegian and he said that he thought I was Italian with how I talk with my hands so much. I laughed and told him thank you and we chatted for a while about travel. I complimented him on his travel savvy knowledge and we talked about sightseeing and such. It was overall a very interesting and enjoyable experience. The gentleman looked to enjoy our conversation as much as I did, and I think I made his day a little better. I am unsure if he would share about his experience with a friend or not. I think this challenge is something I will continue in my everyday life as a normal trend.
On day three I almost did not complete the challenge as I was home for most of the day. Thankfully we went to the grocery store that afternoon and I was able to fulfill the final day of the challenge while there. I was in the check out line and the cashier looked like it had been a rough day so I decided to try complimenting her to see if it made any difference. I made general small talk and asked her if it was a busy day in the store, etcetera. I complimented her hard work and told her thank you and to have a great day. She smiled and looked a bit less stressed. It made me feel really good that just a small interaction like that could make someone who looked so stressed smile for a bit. I will definitely be repeating that and I think that I made a small difference in her day. I found this attempt a lot easier as I did not feel nervous about engaging in conversation with her, and afterwards I felt good to have made her smile.