Saturday, February 18, 2012

A social experiment

I am undoubtedly an extrovert to the largest degree. I love being around people, talking to people and most of all connecting to people.  Now, as human beings, we all want some connection introverts and extroverts alike. But sometimes it seems to me that we've gotten so bad at just connecting with others, particularly with people we don't know, out in the community, out in the world...

But I try to connect like this nonetheless with varying results.  Here are my 2 examples:

I was once at Woodman's and the woman behind me in line seemed really cool. I liked her vibe, if you will.  So, without really thinking, I turned around and said, "I like you."  She seemed a little taken aback and uncomfortable.  I tried to explain. "I have a good vibe..."  Still taken aback.  I was probably coming off like some strange hippie girl.  I let it go.

The next time was at Mia Famiglia Italian restaurant in Hales Corners (Which I highly recommend by the way). Tad and I were there on a date sans children of course but there was a family there with their kids who were so well-behaved and sweet. They seemed like such a cool family. So I wrote them a note:
Your kids are so impressive--well behaved and sweet.
You must be really good parents.
You seem like such a cool family.
I sneaked a peek back as we walked out and they were smiling as the mom shared the note.

So last night Tad and I ate at EE-Sane Thai restaurant and he ordered his food at a spiciness level of 3.  When the food arrived he said that it was super spicy and he was glad he didn't get a 4.  Shortly after a group of four came in and were deliberating upon which spiciness level to order.  Tad and I deliberated over whether we should lean over and tell them about Tad's spicy 3.   They asked the server if the cook was "spicy" and she said "Yes."  So they settled on a 4 and then called her back and changed it to 5.
"Too late now." Tad said.  We had to leave before they got their food but I was so curious as to whether they would find their spiciness level intolerable.  What I REALLY wanted to do was give them my phone number and tell them to text me after they tasted their food.  I wanted to know the end of the story!!!  I did not do this but it prompted Tad and I to come up with some rules and thoughts for my social experiment.

It will be called "Operation Connection" and while I'm not quite sure about all the details of the Mission of this (since these instances seem to happen at random times with varying missions), I have decided that the Vision will be to create more connection among people around me.  So here are the rules:

1. The people or person must be aware that they are being or could be overheard.
2. The people or person must be smiling more than not smiling (There may be an addendum to this rule since sometimes I really like to talk to people who seem unapproachable)
3. My personal knowledge, contribution or seeking of knowledge to/from said party must be specifically relevant to what I heard them say
4. Any request for information or information shared with people or person involved must correspond with information which I would be comfortable sharing or having shared with me.

So those are the rules. I shall document when such things occur and let you know how it goes! 
Have a lovely Saturday.  I hope you connect with someone today.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Alie - Lara suggested I check this post out... I like it!! Although I don't think I'm usually deliberate about doing this, it seems to happen a lot in my life - these connections. I think just noticing people/things and simply smiling and making eye contact, which I tend to just do instinctively, w/ our fellow humans is something that people seem to react positively to. It always strikes me as sad that such simple humanity should seem so rare. Anyhow, it has been a blessing, and a curse to some degree, at times - to be honest... (I'm the person many strangers end up unloading onto etc....) but I'd still rather err on the side of blessing, I guess. Anyhow, I appreciate your thoughts!!! :-) Heather (Lara's friend)