If the idea of approaching people you do not know terrifies you,rest assured you are not alone. There are plenty of other people who share the same emotions. They may cover it up by saying they like to spend time by themselves. Or they may bring a book to read in anticipation of not having anyone to have a conversation with. Some people stand off to the side of a room and adopt an air of confident indifference to what is going on. I always am intrigued by these people.

I have discovered that most people are very approachable WHEN YOU engage them in conversation of any kind. I most recently was the chaperone for my son and some of his fellow high school students who made it district orchestra. We all had to travel about an hour away. I brought my trusty computer and a couple of books. The rehearsal was FIVE hours long. Even I cannot carry on a conversation that long.

At the registration table, I inquired as to where I could go to “plug-in”. A fellow parent walked with me to the “Hospitality Room”. We sat down at a table that was empty, and shared some conversation. As more people came in, there was less talking as everyone was hesitant to be the first to talk. After what seemed to be an eternity I could not stand the silence any longer. I had been in this room for two hours, and my eyes had had enough of the computer screen.

As I glanced around the room, there was another kindred spirit at a table right next to mine who was beginning to stir around a bit. Without hesitation at our growing discomfort we began to share our stories. Once we started to converse,her fellow table mates who previously seemed “indifferent” suddenly came to life and were part of the conversation as well. Another hour and a half had passed with laughter and some tears.

All of us who were there that day have not maintained contact. But we learned that by being open to strangers, we had an unexpected pleasant experience!