Is it just me, or are groups of people intimidating? Even if I’m happy enough chatting to each member individually, I find myself studiously avoiding approaching them in group format. I have this fear of everybody looking at me, one eyebrow raised, with a collective expression of “erm… can we help you?” *scathing, school bitch voice* Or, something along the Bridget Jones lines… “Do you know… where the toilets are…?”
So, as I cast my eye around the edges of the dancefloor last night, scanning for somebody new to talk to, a little groupette caught my attention. It was formed of one person I chat with regularly and two that I’ve avoided in the past as they’re a little quieter and I’ve struggled to start a conversation with them, let alone sustain one. So, I armed myself with with some faux-confidence (fake it ’til you make it, right?), walked up and joined the group with a breezy ‘hi’.
I won’t lie, I’m pretty sure I saw at least one eyebrow shoot up. They were surprised. Of course they were. I’m acting out of character. I’d kind of hoped that I could just slip into whatever conversation they’d been having. That, clearly, was not going to happen. I held my nerve and greeted the surprised and expectant looks by asking them how they’d found the classes. A tricky topic, given that the teacher that night was my husband, but it was all I could think of. Still, after a quick class debrief, the conversation moved on and my courage paid off with me having a really nice conversation with one of the girls I’d previously avoided.
I think this qualifies as a success; two new people conversed with, plus bonus points for approaching a group. I’m permitting myself a pat on the back.