When you meet someone who says they want to help you, wants to talk with you in public, wants to teach you something, wants to support you or just wears their heart on their sleeve and shares their story – what do you do? What do you think at that moment, how does it make you feel and how do you respond?
Do you walk away, be polite but think ‘omg wtf?’ in your head, do you listen and engage?
Do you stop and take the time to understand this person and consider you may have met a quality friend, or do you treat them with skepticism and mistrust to the point you push them away?
Is it because you genuinely don’t trust them based on a previous experience with them or because you just don’t recognise and understand their behaviour?
Not all people have sincere intentions but not all people are out to get you either. Do you believe that you’re an honest, generous and loving person who deserves respect while others can’t be trusted unless they prove themselves to you? Someone has to extend the olive branch in order to start the wheels-in-motion.
If you make it your responsibility, sure you will get the occasional monkey but you’ll also lead the charge and be in a position to setup powerful and meaningful relationships. If you however choose to wait for someone else to reach out all the time, you could wait a lifetime and it may never come.
It’s ok though as it’s not your fault – until after you’ve read this. Since childhood, you’ve been told to be wary of strangers but then you entered the dating/business world and you’re encouraged to ‘put yourself out there’. It’s yet another example of conflicting messaging that you’ve had your whole life but now you can consider that it could be why you may have double standards when it comes to relationships.
When I moved to San Francisco, I didn’t have the luxury to be wary of strangers. I’m an emotional human being who likes powerful and meaningful relationships so I needed and wanted to make new friends. I set my benchmark and standards of who I was and the kind of people I wanted in my life and then went out to find like-minded people. Sure not everyone liked or understood my style of personality but the people who did like it have wound up being close friends and confidantes.
Whether it’s a new job, a new country, a new friend or a new song on the radio, embrace the unknown with a sense of wonder and possibility. Talk with a stranger today – and when I say talk, I really mean to make the effort to get to know them as you might be surprised for the both of you.
Relax – I’m not asking you to exchange phone numbers, show them your undies or meet random people at night at a deserted train station. I’m asking you to put yourself out there in the elevator or on the street corner or in your office building and realise they’re often just as scared and even judgemental as you are.
At best, you end up with a new friend and at worst, you gain further perspective.