When I traded in a Friday lime to meet a new person I admitted to myself that I like meeting new people. I love liming with my friends, there is a familiarity that allows me to show up as I am, in whatever mood that I am in and spend a good time with them. Yet when my friend called me on Friday, I declined. I wanted to meet someone new, a complete stranger who reached out to me on Linkedin. The thrill of the new tugged and I happily gave in to it.
I get a rush when I am meeting new people, because I just never know. Curiosity demands to be satisfied, to see if the face matches the perfectly polite voice on the phone and to read the expressions beyond the beautifully written and thoughtful notes.
The possibility of a new connection, a new relationship or a new way to relate pull me in and I show up. I feel anxious, I am uncertain and have flashing concerns about how I look and how I feel, all while reminding myself to slow down, to listen, to be open and to share.
These uncertainties challenge me to stay in the present, have no expectations, make no assumptions and see how the meeting plays out minute by minute. From the onset I am setting boundaries for the relationship and watchful for breaches. I have to gauge if the questions posed to me and by me are inquisitive or nosy, and gauge the right amount of push back if I am uncomfortable with any questions or comments. I have to limit distractions, ignore my phone, will myself awake if I am bored, and not pick a fight if there is any contention.
As the meeting progresses, the suspense unfolds, and I am fascinated to join the dots to learn about the new person, just as they are learning about me.
How do you feel about meeting new people?