I’ve always been an introvert kind of person, and while I’ve been trying to improve my conversing skills, I still find that it takes me several deep breaths and internal pep talks (somewhere along the lines of ‘Come on Katherine, you can do this, no one’s gonna judge even if you do stumble through all your words and momentarily forget how to speak the English language.’) before I’m able to go up to the stranger and say ‘hi’. Part of me fears the prospect of me making an absolute fool out of myself; the other part of me fears the possibilities this two-letter word could open me up to – in particular, the possibility of having to reveal a part of myself in order to maintain the conversation and stop it from dwindling into the much-dreaded awkward silence. This might sound silly, but I feel like when I open myself up to someone, I am opening myself up to their scrutiny. I feel like I’m placing myself in this vulnerable position where I’m fragile like glass and any cruel word that escapes from their lips might just shatter me.
But a girl I was talking to a couple days ago (yes! she started off as a total stranger) told me that everything begins with a ‘hi’, and if you never dare to say a simple hello, who knows what possibilities you could be missing out on? Sure, every now and then, you might embarrass yourself so much that you just want the earth beneath you to swallow you up and save you from public humiliation. But sometimes, you might just meet that someone who is worth your time, who is worth all those times of embarrassment. Sometimes, that person you said a simple ‘hi’ to, might just turn out to be your best friend, your soulmate, someone whom you know will always have your back no matter what.
So next time, don’t deprive yourself of the chance to get to know others and to let others get to know you. Next time, just go up to that person, smile and say hello. It really is that simple.