Engaging People

When my kids were younger I spent a lot of time teaching them how to be social.  I taught them to greet people with a firm handshake and look them in the eyes. I taught them a few lead phrases and questions to get conversations started.  Always have a compliment ready.  Always have a joke tucked in your back pocket. Always listen and ask engaging questions.  Be just engaging enough to keep a conversation going.  Make a good first impression.

But you.  You sit there and smile.  It’s a great smile…lights up the room, but smiling isn’t everything.  You don’t engage your company.  You just sit there smiling.  You sip your drink and nod every once in awhile and smile and just sit there.  People who know you talk for you, and you nod and smile.  People talk for you! I can’t stop thinking about it.  It’s intriguing yet simple.

My first impression is that it’s rude and dispespectful. Is that fair?  I feel disrespected.  Not to the point of being deeply hurt, but just slightly.  Can you just ask me something?  Anything. Can you just make a simple comment?  Even if it’s a selfish comment.  Is that fair?  Is it selfish of me  to want someone to engage?  Because look, If you don’t engage me then I’m going to engage you.  I don’t care or have the need to talk about myself.  So I’m going to ask you questions or bring up subjects that anyone can converse on and we’re going to talk, dammit!  That means you and I talk.  Open your mouth and share. 

Is it uncomfortable for you?  You need to think about that.  Get up and use the restroom and think about it for 3 minutes.  Remove yourself because I’m about to engage you.  I’m about to make you laugh.  I’m about to ask you questions that you have to answer.  Is it uncomfortable?  Think about it.  Why do you put yourself in a social environment if you’re not going to be social?  It’s rude. I just don’t get it.

Intriguing yet simple.




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