Personal growth and chocolate

The smile experiment was a success, sort of. I had to remind myself to greet strangers at first but it gradually became habit. Most people smiled right back, which was quite nice. Others kept their eyes downcast even when I said hello. I can’t hold it against them, since I might do the same if I weren’t looking for a blog post.

I don’t think I scared anyone. At least, everyone kept their cool until they were out of sight. It helped that I didn’t chase them.

It’ll come as no surprise that friendliness feels nicer than isolation. But I can’t claim any great revelation and I’m not committing to doing this all the time. I’ll try for a while, of course, but soon enough my own thoughts will draw me inward and I’ll go back to ignoring everyone.

I’ve grown so much.

Yesterday, the joy jolt came from blowing off the first hour of work to watch a very condensed version of the Oscars on my DVR. Sorry scientific/technical awards and makeup artists, I zoomed right past you. Sloth is always fun. So is looking at purdy dresses and momentarily feeling superior to the stunning women wearing ugly ones.

Today, I need to finish my first writing assignment for my fiction class, so that will provide the joy for the day. I’m sure it will also deliver the hair pulling, self-doubt, nail biting, tantrums, vandalism and drinking.

I so wish I could have a productive reaction to stress, like those people who lose weight or clean their houses from top to bottom. For me it’s chocolate and procrastination every time.

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This entry was posted in Bring on the joy, Failure fear and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Personal growth and chocolate

  1. Donna says:

    Since I walk every day I often pass by people in the street. I always say hello, good morning or something like that but many people ignore me anyway. It’s starting to wear me down and now I mumble something under my breath when they don’t respond (I try not to swear). It just basic courtesy – something which is disappearing from our society. So sad…

    • I know. It’s hard to be friendly when it isn’t reciprocated. Or when someone is swearing under their breath.

    • Dienna says:

      Donna, I agree that it seems that common courtesy is going out the window. I’ve lost the guts to initiate saying “hi” to people because I’ve been snubbed far too many times, but I do reciprocate if someone says it to me (as long as it doesn’t come off as a sexual come on, which some men have tried—and failed—with me before). I commend IfIWereBrave for having the guts to talk to people, regardless of how rude some people can be.

  2. notquiteold says:

    Ummm chocolate and then a nap. Good stress relievers.

  3. Hope you enjoy your writing class!

  4. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.~ Hebrews 13:2

    I thought of this verse when I read your last post. It made me smile. I’d consider a smile for a stranger entertaining and if it’s a possibility then, maybe – just maybe, you have a few extra winged friends pulling for you now:)

  5. So now that you have cleaned the clutter, enjoyed some vodka and get ready for your fiction class, take some pride in the ABC Award I am giving you, it is well deserved.

  6. Muff says:

    I love the topic of non-verbal communication – it brings so much more nuance into our interactions with others. I find the whole issue of looking people in the eye and saying hello to have a strong regional influence. I travel a lot with work all over the US and the Northeast is the toughest area for friendly gestures like this. When I am traveling in the South, it is entirely different. Everyone (it seems, I am sure there are actually outlyers…) says hello, looks you in the eye and smiles. Whether or not it is authentic is entirely unknown to me, but the hellos do flow. Once, while in Oklahoma, someone smiled, looked me in the eye, said hello, held the door for me and then (…wait for it…) asked me if I had Jesus in my life. As a East Coast / NE kind of guy, I was uber uncomfortable with this, but I sense this kind of apprach is not so unheard of. Out West there are micro cultures – some warmer than others (from a friendliness perspective not jsut the weather), but generally really friendly. Plenty of smiling, not always a hello. Midwest I get eye lock, not always a hello, but a bit of a smile too.

    Of all the places that I find the least friendly with respect to cities, Boston outranks them all. Tough folk up there. Of the states, Maine. Shocking! I think that it is just too cold for too long and they spend too much time alone.

  7. Pingback: Two Years « Woman Wielding Words

  8. I think next time you should attempt to chase down the ones with downcast eyes. Maybe that will convince them to give you a friendly smile. It’d make for an interesting post at least ; )

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