For some reason it really surprises my friends when they hear that I consider myself to be a fairly strong introvert. That doesn’t mean I don’t like people (quite the opposite actually), but it does mean that group situations kind of stress me out and I hate approaching people. Small talk is generally obnoxious to me but I would gladly discuss serious issues with pretty much anyone. My introversion is something I am trying to learn how to deal with, particularly my nervousness about talking to strangers.
Being so adverse to initiating conversations makes me a horrible networker and makes finding friends in a new area difficult. I just can’t seem to smoothly start talking to someone without a real catalyst that is deeper than where someone works. I played in a Kickball league for over a year here in DC and really only talk to two or so of the hundreds of people I met. I don’t know, it sucks.
It particularly sucks when it comes to meeting ladies. Guys are supposed to initiate but I never do. Instead I end up waiting for girls to approach me. I am also TERRIBLE at telling if someone is interested, flirting, or whatever. I try all kinds of little tricks to logically analyze the interaction but these usually just leave me more confused.
Anyway, one of my goals for my bike ride is to approach more strangers as I encounter them on my travels. I actually may start doing that now. Logically I know there is no harm if someone gets weirded out by me saying hi but there is a ton to gain if it goes well. I need to find that balance of logic and emotion in a way that controls my irrational fears but also allows me to show my human side.