Nothing feels better than leaving the office 6 o’clock in the evening and the sun is still up there before it gives the night shift to the moon.
Kevin and I can’t wait to tap our employee card and then headed straight to our car.
A colleague from another department passes by. I’ve seen her around but never really talked to her before.
Kevin looked at her with a smile and with a very natural tone, he said goodbye to her. She looked back and greeted us goodbye as well. But I kept walking and never give any response.
Kevin came to me and seems a little bit annoyed, “Why you never say goodbye to people?”
“I don’t really know her mar,” I said.
“Don’t really know her cannot say goodbye one meh? Saying goodbye very difficult meh?” he replied.
Hmmm… maybe he has the point. His question had put me into a stage of speechless, sorry and realisation.
Then I started to asked myself, “yeah… what’s wrong with saying goodbye to a person I don’t really know? And is there anything wrong even if I say goodbye to a person I DON’T know at all? Will it cost me a limb? Obviously no. Then why am I avoiding talking to strangers all the time?”
I have no answer to those questions as well. So I started writing this post and put everything in my mind into words and sentences (that’s how I organise my thoughts).
Remember the post It’s all about life I wrote sometime back in June? There were two goals I set for myself to achieve.
What I want to change most about myself is always afraid to talk to strangers.
I’d like to be the kind of friend who can be seen as a true friend and interact with them naturally.
Although these two goals are very subjective and difficult to quantify the success criteria. But from the conversation I had with Kevin, I realise I do not have them yet.
Back in June, I didn’t write the goals out of thin air. In fact, those two goals were actually inspired by Kevin long time ago.
I’ve always admire him for how he treated people around him. He is always so friendly, caring and most importantly, true. He doesn’t pretend (most of the time), he doesn’t hate and he always forgive.
I tried to change to be like him, but I guess I didn’t make it. So I started to think, there must be a reason why I’m still afraid to talk to strangers and still not friendly enough?
And when I dig deeper and deeper into myself, I think I found the root of cause. It is what we call “high self-esteem” which was planted deep within myself long time ago since I was young.
Me as a high self-esteem person will always care about how others think about me. Combine with my low level of EQ, sucky social skills and slow spontaneous reaction, the conclusion is, I’m afraid to talk to strangers simply because I do not know what to talk and I’m afraid I say something so stupid that makes me want to bang my head over the nearest wall wherever I can find.
Well, the bang-my-head-over-the-nearest-wall situation happens all the time. And if I try to make myself sound not so stupid, I will just become more unnatural and… well… fake. Slowly, I turned from talk less with strangers to avoid talking to strangers. And that’s how the whole thing came along.
But come to think of it, I think I’ve made quite some improvements over the last couple of years. At least now I don’t feel extremely bad when things don’t go according to the way that I wanted. At least now I talk more with strangers and I’m able to counter back their jokes 50% of the time (by squeezing my brain very hard).
I believe I will still be the same person I used to be a few years ago if I never took the step to start a life in KL. If I never came to KL, I will never met two persons who I think have changed who I was into who I am, Stevo and Kevin. I was much influenced by both of them and I thank them for making me a better person.
As much as I want to change, but there’s just no overnight cure. Changing our characteristic is not an easy task. Like the Chinese says, “it’s easier to move a mountain than change a person”.
Give me some time, I believe I will make it someday.