February: Social Horizons Expanded

Last day of February. Are my social horizons dramatically expanded as a result of a month of stepping out of my social comfort zone? Am I surrounded by new friends and inundated with invites for drinks, dinner, coffee? Erm, no. No, I’m not.

HOWEVER, I’m not beyond a bit of self-congratulation. This month I have…

  • Approached and spoken to people that usually scare me, both at work and at salsa
  • Issued (and indeed re-issued) an invite for drinks to a colleague that I’ve never seen out of a work context before
  • Been to a book group and given my email to a girl who promised to get in touch re- a coffee (she didn’t. *sniff*)
  • Scared myself silly going to a life drawing class and surprised myself by happily going back
  • Approached and conversed with intimidating groups of people (despite a strong urge to RUN in the opposite direction).

Did I meet all my targets? Lets examine;

1. Say yes to an invitation (or even more than one – gasp!) that I would usually turn down:

Mission accomplished. 

2. Talk to one person (or more) per week that I don’t usually talk to:

I can’t be absolutely sure, but I reckon I’ve cracked this one. I’m now talking to at least four people I didn’t used to… 

3. Progress one casual work friendship and one salsa friendship outside of their respective environments:

I’m halfway towards extending a work friendship beyond work, but struggled to get off the starting blocks with the same target at salsa. Don’t think I’m giving up just because February’s over though. I’m not done with this quest. It is to be continued. 

What I’d overlooked when setting these targets though, was what I might learn in the process of doing all this. I now know that life drawing classes are nowhere near as terrifying as expected, and therefore other things probably aren’t either. I also know that listening is hugely underrated and that making people feel important is as vital now to happy social interaction as it was in the 1930’s. I know that fear-of-not-trying kicks fear-of-failure’s sorry ass, and I know that fear of rejection doesn’t go away overnight, but is well worth staring down at every given opportunity.

This isn’t the end of me expanding my social horizons; it’s just the beginning. I have new skills, new knowledge, new insight. I’ll be buggered if I’m letting all that go unused. March may bring a different challenge, but pay attention. There’ll be more of this to come.

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