Whether it’s business or personal, we’re all either openers or closers (and if you’re both, you have a lot to teach this young grasshopper). Openers are skilled at initiating relations/contact with others, and closers are skilled at sealing the deal.
I’m definitely a closer. I have long-lasting relationships with exes, friends, friends of friends, family of friends, etc. One friend even calls me a friend stealer. It’s true. But, the initial ‘breaking in’ of these relationships was difficult for me. I’m not good at initiating conversations with new people.
But this past weekend, I took a small baby step. On Saturday, I went out to Pierre’s Champagne Lounge (Vancouver’s hidden gem; great music, great service.) with some girlfriends. One of them ran into her friends, and so we joined their group. I was standing next to woman who knew my friend. I knew I should introduce myself (since we are at their VIP table and all), but ironically enough, I felt intrusive. I didn’t know when/ how to introduce myself. Spontaneously, I sucked it up, and turned around and introduced myself. Wasn’t so bad. I kid you not, in the past, I would’ve just stood there and not uttered word, unless she initiated a conversation.
Also, some other progress to report on…
The place was packed, and like typical Vancouverites, people stared. I normally would interpret the stares as negative, and immediately become self-conscious. Not this time though. Maybe they were starring because I looked cute. Yeah. That’s it. That’s the story I went with.
I also have been told by friends that I tend to come off as unapproachable because my shyness is misinterpreted as snobby or rigid. So, for a change, I was mindful of this that night. My goal was to just keep a smile on my face. Admittedly, I felt even more awkward with my fake smile, but I found people, especially women, to be receptive to the smile –some even returned the grin.
The smile may be my newest accessory.
(1) Don’t underestimate/undervalue baby steps. Progress is relative. Moving forward is moving in the right direction.
(2) Give yourself credit.