The second thing Jess did that I have also practiced before is “talking to strangers”. How she describes this is “disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace.”
Just her description alone makes me laugh because I can 100% relate. Every time I have spoken to a stranger I feel a huge resistance inside me. The kind of resistance that wants to cringe in the corner because the task at hand is likely to be too awkward. And many times I have had to buck up and tell that resistance to quiet down or else I wouldn’t be able to socialize with my co-workers. However, now at the age of 27 I do feel more practiced with this endeavor, but the road hasn’t been easy. It has been full of extremely cringy moments that led to nothing except a lack of pride and a bottle of wine.
Scratch the wine. What am I talking about? I was broke as fuck in college. There was no wine!
Anyways, when I went to college or university, as Aussie’s like to call it, I was alone. None of my high school friends went to my college. They traveled to L.A. or New York whereas I stayed in Sacramento. And as I said before, I am an introvert so college parties did not tempt me. I hate crowds. I hate small talk and I hate talking over music. So what I was left with was the library and the gym. And you can’t really make friends in a library since you can’t talk…so I decided to try and make friends at the gym.
What I would do is run around the indoor track and look for other girls running. If they didn’t have ear phones in, I would ask if they wanted to run with me. This sounds innocent, like a child, but trust me I still cringe at the memories. It was so hard for me to ask this question! The fear of rejection was very real for me. And I also felt like a weird stalker in a way because I was looking for girls to talk to. It just didn’t feel natural and it didn’t work so I would advise not doing this. But! It did break down some of my fear because it was practice. AND PRACTICE IS KEY! In those moments, I was practicing being confident, but most importantly I was practicing being vulnerable. And though no one wanted to run with me, I survived. And I was okay. The cringyness didn’t break me.