“But Idil, you’re not an introvert…”
Ssshhh, that’s beside the point.
Since I’ve been here in DC, I realized that my personality has changed. It is not good or bad, but it is just different. For some reason, I am just a more pleasant person in general; less aggressive, less impatient, but also less outgoing. This doesn’t mean that I stopped having random conversations with people on the street, because realistically I would never stop doing that, but I talk less. Granted, I’ve never been one of those girls who just screamed at the other one’s face saying, “OMG HIIIIIIIII I LOOOOOOVEEEE YOUR DRESSS YOU LOOK AMAZING HOW ARREEEE YOOOUUUU”
Let me clarify that I know how to use punctuation, it is just that those girls usually say all of that under one breath.
That being said, I have to admit that there are a lot of people like that in DC who seem like they majored in “social norms” in college… Which would put me in a “awkward relations” category, so I don’t know how I feel about that. Everything aside, one time I actually talked to a friend of a friend, then said to my friend, “did you just see that? I socialized!” Poor guy just smiled and took a sip from his drink, probably wondering what terrible thing he did to deserve my presence.
So after that very awkward, “I hope I’m not turning pale, Trump orange” kind of conversation, I put together a few items that could be an easy conversation starter or let you camouflage in that crowd. You are welcome, fellow introverts.
- Charger. Forget your charger. Leave it at home. It is a very common problem that every iPhone owner experiences everyday so let that be your conversation starter. Worst case scenario they don’t have it and you have to just comment on something that starts with, “OH by the way.” For example it’d be totally fair game to say, “oh by the way, I was totally ear-dropping earlier about your conversation on donuts and I agree with you.” Whoever they are talking to will probably say something back to you and you’ll just shoot back. There you go, you are in a social circle now.
- Pen. Ask for a pen or a pencil. Just make it look natural and say, “ugh, do you have a pen I can use really quick? I forgot to put down something on my calendar.” The chances, they probably won’t ask, but you can still mention what event or whatever it is you need to write down if it is appropriate for the environment. For example if you are among hipsters, you can say, “yeah just the date for the Editors concert,” and people will immediately start asking questions.
- Book. DC is swarming with intellectuals. A fellow bookworm will probably approach you and ask what you are reading. Upside is, you can immediately connect. Downside is, your reading will be interrupted. I don’t like it when people do it to me… I usually just hiss at them.
- Data. AHHHH. This one is tricky. So you can totally pretend like you don’t have data and have someone look up something for you but that might also lead to a “can’t believe you are spending my data right now” kind of anger. Don’t use this one unless you are very desperate.
- Tissue. You might be sick or might have spilled something on you. Ask for a tissue. If you are sick, blame it on the weather or allergies. If you spilled something, talk about your lunch. I’ve never done this before, but I have witnessed it put into use. What can I say, some introverts have social tendencies I guess.