Do you talk to strangers? I don’t. I would definitely describe myself as an introvert. Unless I’m around people with whom I am super comfortable (like family or friends I’ve had since the age of five), I am pretty reserved. Until I started college, I was never the type to raise my hand in class or volunteer to speak in front of a crowd.
Although I’m now a little more bold, a little more confident, I am still extremely reticent. Rather than joining in and making myself known, I prefer to sit back and observe whatever is happening in front of me. Very much the wallflower, I like to surveil the world around me. What are the perks of being a wallflower, you might ask? I am continually entertained by people-watching, I’m constantly learning and improving my people-reading skills, and I barely ever have to talk to anyone that I don’t want to talk to (just the way I like it).
When I am on a train or plane, I keep my relatively large nose inside my book for fear of making accidental eye contact with a stranger and being forced into a conversation with them. I would much rather eavesdrop on their dialogue with others or read their emails over their shoulder; that’s the kind of curious person that I am.
My friend Leah, on the other hand, is so outgoing that she can (and will) talk to literally anyone. She has this presence that makes other people feel so comfortable. Immediately upon making eye contact with her, they find themselves telling her their deepest thoughts, wishes, and fears.
One day, when we met up at the Strand Bookstore in Lower Manhattan, she introduced me to a friend she had made in Union Square Park. They became pals simply because they had made eye contact and consequently sparked up a conversation about the books they were reading.
Later that same day, Leah and I got two entire meals (and a chocolate bar) comped at this awesome vegan restaurant. That morning on the train, she had initiated a conversation with a random guy – because he was wearing a hat adorned with the logo of a vegan brand of chocolate bar she likes – who turned out to own the chocolate bar brand and associated vegan restaurant in the city.
Most of Leah’s life can be attributed to her specific personality and palpable aura; however, her curiosity almost never goes unanswered because she has the audacity to talk to other human beings. Mind boggling, is it not? The more people you talk to, the more unlikely friends you may make.
Neither way of life is considerably better than the other. A combination of the two would be ideal. So maybe when you’re finding yourself stuck looking at a strangers pictures from a trip they took to Bora Bora two years ago all because you said hello to them, ask yourself: what would Brooklyn do in this situation? Conversely, if you see someone on the train or in a park that peaks your interest, ask yourself: what would Leah do in this situation?
Have you downloaded the Hey! VINA app yet? If so, which did you pick on your profile: Introvert, extrovert, or ambivert? Comment below and tell us!
(Feature image via @belletriste)