Sunday, May 05, 2013

Exploring personalities

Judging a person in only five seconds isn't necessarily bad. The concept is flawed if the premise is to hate or like a person, but otherwise it is a way to adapt, measure and interact in the right way. Spouting Star Wars jokes to a volleyball player won't make you exotic.

But it takes adaptation. People can be different -- could be a unique sense of humor, a bohemian lifestyle, anything. Sometimes society places limits and defines how characters are to be judged. I'd rather people liberate and open their minds, but it doesn't happen under every circumstance.

I find shy personalities fascinating. They are mysterious, and tough nuts to crack open -- they watch and measure the surroundings, occasionally expressing themselves through a smile or frown. It's highly rewarding interaction.

One of my friends is an escapist, she shuts down in groups, but is bubbly in one-on-one meetings. It didn't take long to figure out she was shy when I met her for the first time at a party.

So I started with a bang. I heard she had just moved to New York.

"So what's your story, in a New York minute?" I asked. Instinctual words, but bad start, knew it right away.

"What?" she asked, bewildered.

She didn't react well to straight up, semi-satirical questions. I had to calm the situation down, and do it quickly.

"I'd rather be at the beaches in Sri Lanka, but here I am too," I said.

One more weird face, but she seemed to figure out what I was about. She perhaps thought I was trying to impress her (which wasn't the case, I just wanted conversation). I had to calm down in any case.

"I've never been to Lanka," she said.

Time to change topic. She was looking pretty, wearing a blouse with a lehenga, and a bindi on her forehead. I didn't want to complement her looks, I never do, but I did roll out a factoid that I found interesting.

"Saw you walking two blocks wondering where you were headed, and here you are! I actually told my friend that women in bindis are hard to find walking on New York streets."

She immediately was at ease, rolling out a laugh.

"I heard the same thing when I went to salsa class yesterday," she said.

Multi-talented personality, I thought. She's raised some topics that we could talk about. The conversation went on, but I felt rewarded with the salsa nugget. She seemed to establish a small level of trust in me atleast.

She didn't ask too many questions, and I egged on. The next time we met for dinner a few weeks later, she was open, vibrant and admitted group meetings weren't for her. She also thought I was weird with the first few questions, but then I compensated well by calming down.

I gave her grief that she was judging me too quickly.

"I was not judging you, you created the situation for yourself," she said.

"I was fishing to see what type of conversation would work," I said, contesting her theory.

"So you were trying to judge me even before met?" she said.

Caught. Red-handed.

(Cross posted on Thine Explorer)


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home