Very few people (at least by my observation) take the time to have conversations anymore. We live in a small talk world; a chit-chatty, shallow pool of meaningless jabber. I hate small talk. I am terrible at it and I refuse to engage in it. In meeting new people, I'll shake a hand and offer a fair, "How do you do?" but beyond that, I usually just clam up. Part of that is because, like I said before, I am not good at the small talk. The other reason is I am a pretty shy guy. I tip the scales pretty heavily on the side of extrovert. So, in new situations with new people I am hardly the life of the party. In fact, I usually come across as aloof, distant and seemingly above everyone else. This is hardly the case. I am, in truth, scared to death, unsure of myself and ready to retreat swiftly back into the comfort of my hidey hole. I have tried to overcome this in the past but I've never truly conquered it. It usually takes a long time for me to feel safe enough with someone to begin being myself in their presence. (which is difficult because I don't really know who I am anymore) Some people barrel thru my walls and plant a flag stating, "I'm here whether you like it or not!" Others tip-toe around the edges looking for a crack. I can't really say what the best approach is. I only have one suggestion.
Skip the small talk.
Yep. If you really want me to step out of my shell and interact you must put aside the chit-chat and engage me in conversation. Real talk. Swim beyond the shallows and go deep. I'm game. Really. Oh, and another thing you can do is not take yourself (or me) too seriously. I love to kid around and have fun. I find that most people I've met in recent years don't know how to have fun. Frankly I don't know how they survive life. I used to be known as a very funny person but my jokes and sarcasm fall on mostly deaf and humorless ears these days. I suppose that's why my art is so full of humor. It's the only way I have to get it out.
I wish these thoughts were more organized but, alas, this is what you get. I swore to myself that I would blog more. That requires a freedom to write without organizing and editing. So, that's what I'm doing.