My posts on this site are often filled with profanity and gruff talk but that is just one aspect of me. I understand that. I understand so much about myself (therapy and life experience more the latter).
I used to be very shy when I went out in public but these days I find myself very open and friendly to strangers. I try to engage some people and joke and smile with them. I think I do this because I started practicing it years ago. It was a way to lessen anxiety. It works. Whenever I have gone into the hospital or doctor’s office I am that way. I have a belief that connecting with others THAT way (in a friendly often humorous EMPATHETIC way) adds to THEIR lives. I look into lives and try to connect with something in them that I can relate to. Such as workers. Or the tedium of doing some job. Or do that with someone waiting in line with me somewhere. Example: Standing in line to get my second Covid vaccination I talked with some people about the surroundings (the rich folk lounge in a football stadium). It was alien to all there or most people so I joked about it. I thanked the nurses for their work. Stuff like that.
When I am in public being THAT way, people are sometimes taken aback like I am antagonizing or more like surprising them in how I am. I try to think about how they SEE this friendly old guy joking a bit and asking how they are. AM I being rude in any way? I try to be careful of people. Most people react to the friendliness and my jocular manner positively. Some I have seen have looked down on me because of how I have been dressed or I know how they see me as being of a different station in life. You know, very rich pricks. I have to be careful of HOW I relate to people.
My brother-in-law commented on how I was joking around and being friendly to total strangers in a hospital. I was that way in an ER back in June. People for the most part react in a positive way. Some women I suspect feel threatened by a strange man being so friendly. I have to think how they see such a person. When I had some tubes being stuck in my arm at the hospital I was joking about it. Have to reach hard for something to joke about in such situations. I did.
My primary care physician used to see my parents. Why I chose her. Why she LET me be a patient of hers when she was all booked up. The doctor told me that my dad would SING as he walked down the halls of her office. I think she was amused that I was like him a bit. I keep that in mind and think about dad doing that. I remember he used to start singing to himself at times in public. I was embarrassed at the time but now I admire him for it. In his last decade or so of life he turned mean. I like to remember him for being FRIENDLY to people out in public. Engaging strangers in FRIENDLY conversation. Joking often. These memories of my father as I write this are an affirmation that…
Yeah, it’s ok to be friendly, kind, empathetic and nice to people. And try make light and humorous of situations shared. Fuck it, it’s better than being all serious and glum no matter how shitty you feel. I have found that engaging people in friendly humorous ways lifts most people up. And if they don’t like it… heeeeeeeey fuck ‘em! I think I am doing ok being this way.
(This is an example of how writing can help us figure stuff out about ourselves and be an affirmation)