I was avoiding people. I didn’t want to talk to anyone.
I’ve been working on a couple of writing projects. I hit a wall the last couple of days.
I wanted to get two articles done by the end of the weekend. I didn’t get to it on Saturday. That frustrated me. I was then determined to get both of them written and published on Sunday.
I shut my self off from the world. I avoided people during breakfast at my hotel. I avoided eye contact with people. I ate in my own quiet corner. Then I walked to the coffee shop.
I avoided eye contact at the coffee shop too. I was afraid of any wasted time talking to people. I thought this would just be meaningless conversation.
This inner frustration and slight stress of not finishing my work didn’t feel good.
I did finish the two articles and that did feel good. At least for a few minutes.
I woke up on Monday and had a brand new list of things to do. The impulse came: Avoid other human beings!! I sat down in my own quiet corner again. I began reading a book.
The book I was reading talked about two types of people: idea-oriented or people-oriented. Idea-oriented people are more interested in working on ideas and talking to others about ideas. People-oriented people are interested in people and want to talk to people. When they talk to people, their favorite topic is people.
I fall into the idea oriented category. I like my alone time, I like reading books and I avoid people sometimes.
A few people walked into the hotel lobby drinking coffee. I put the book down. I forgot about my to do list. I forgot about my writing projects.
I started a conversation.
I talked with a guy from Belgium. He plays guitar and we talked about music. He shared he is in a relationship with a girl who lives in Japan. He’s not sure how the long distance thing will work out with her.
Then I met two girls from England. They shared their travel plans with me. I gave them feedback on traveling through different parts of Vietnam.
What I realized is:
1. These conversations were meaningful and enjoyable. Yet, they didn’t didn’t take up too much of my time. My two mental hurdles about conversation was I didn’t have time and they would be meaningless. Well my mental projections were wrong.
I made a connection. I communicated verbally and physically (through eye contact and body language) I was interested in them. They did the same for me. The attention, both giving and receiving, felt good.
2. After I left my hotel, I felt lighter. I didn’t feel as much pressure about the deadlines. It reminded me how important human connection is. It can be medicine to get out of my own head.
As much as I enjoy being an introvert, I want to work on becoming more people-oriented. I need practice. People practice is what I need.
Reference, book I was reading:
God’s Debris by Scott Adams