Sharing Positive Energy

Day 17 of Awkward Moments Experiment

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When your only goal is to spread positive energy around then you can never be disappointed.

November 8th, 2011. 11:00AM.

I finished my midterm and walked out of the classroom. I was walking through the hallways when I saw a girl that felt interesting to talk to. I awkwardly stated I would hang around for a few minutes while waiting for the bus.

I sat down and had a good conversation with her for about 10 minutes. We discussed her Sociology major and how she was from the LA area. (So many people are from LA that it was starting to make me laugh.) I got her Facebook.

I was attracted to her and wanted to see where it would go.

The awkward part occurred when her Facebook told me she was in a relationship with another girl, which caught me off guard.

Yes, I was hitting on a lesbian, which actually makes me smile. From her point of view, I bet she was happy that she can attract both sexes.

From my interactions, I’ve learned that college folks come from so many backgrounds and so many different places. Everyone has their own diverse taste and ideas.

It’s a microcosm for real life. Even if people appear to be something, you must actually speak to them to find out their quirks.

But I definitely made her day less boring with that conversation, so I’m pleased with myself. I shared the positive energy.

The Double Bus Experiment

Day 16 of Awkward Moments

*Since I’m starting the second half of awkward moments, I’m going to attempt to talk to more than one person from this point on. I’ll slowly work my way up into macro mode where my brain gets exposed to multiple people.

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October 28, 2011. Noon/4PM.

On the same day, I talked to two different people while waiting for the same bus route during two different times of the day. The first one occurred at noon and the other occurred at 4PM.

Person #1: I asked her how long it would take for the bus to come. She tells me that it’ll be another ten minutes. I decide to chat with her about her major, her friends, her background, etc.

“Yeah, I’m a human development major.”

“Yeah my roommates and I all met together back at our church.”

“I’m also looking for a job but as you know it’s difficult.”

Those were just a few of the lines that she told me. We continued talking for 20 minutes total until the bus came.

We entered the bus and I sat in the back. She decided to sit in the front at first but ended up joining me in the back because she liked the conversation. We talked for a few more minutes before her stop came up.

It was successful because I had enough time to build enough rapport.

*A few days later we would recognize each other on the bus and share positive energy by chatting again.

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Person #2: I asked her how long it would take for the bus to come. She told me it’ll be 5 minutes.

Then a minute of awkward silence hits.

I asked her what her major was to create conversation and she told me about her design major. She still looked uncomfortable and ended the conversation.

A minute later, she met two of her friends and chatted with them relatively easily. On the bus, they continued chatting with one another.

Not successful because the person wasn’t comfortable enough and not welcome to my approach.

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Two similar situations with two very different results! If I were to continue to do the same question over and over again in the same exact spot, I’m pretty sure I’d have a different result each time.

Don’t predetermine an outcome based on one trial. Keep trying because each situation will create its own story.

How I Used Facebook to Meet Someone in a Weird Way

Day 15 of Awkward Moments Experiment where I expand my social comfort zone and try to benefit others as well.

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Back in 2006, I joined the Bjork forum. I ended up meeting a lot of unique and interesting people on that site. I was active on that site for three years and ended up adding many of them on Facebook.

I was looking at my news feed one day. One of my forum friends that lives in Seattle had a status where her friend said, “Hey, you should come to Davis and the Bay Area.”

I ended up adding a comment and asking if she was referring to the city.

She said she was.

After talking on that status area for a few replies, I offered to hang out with her.

She agreed.

I agreed to hang out with a friend of an online friend that I’ve never met before in real life.

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October 28, 2011. 11:05AM.

We ended up meeting at the coffee house. I was waiting for my latte. In the corner of my eye, she comes to me and says “Hi.”

I told her I would be the guy wearing orange shoes.

It works like a cooler version of Where’s Waldo?

We chatted on the bench for two hours about GMO, Global Warming, the Pacific Northwest, her cat, my interactions with strangers, her travels, and both of our educational programs.

1:00PM.

She told me there was a “pub” behind the food area that was only open between 11am and 2pm. (Yeah, can you believe there’s a pub that’s only open during lunch time? Sounds like some sort of mythical place like Narnia.)

We ended up going there and found it to be a weird hybrid of a fancy restaurant with an informal bar. It had an odd fusion of ambiance.
(The image I can conjure up for you is an Italian restaurant mixed with a microbrewery.)

Over some fancy sandwiches, salad, and beer, we chatted about her travels around South America and joked about her dating life. We both talked about families and our different beliefs from our families’ cultural standards.

The best line I can remember is when I said, “Hey, I’m pretty sure many of those guys went for you because they were curious what one-quarter of sushi tasted like.”

Yes, I ended up saying weird things like that but it’s an inside joke that helped me remember the memory beautifully.

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It’s another unconventional way of meeting someone but it was worth it to leave a little reply on that mutual (online) friend’s status.

Even my online friend approved of it.

That small effort enabled me to meet an awesome person in the area.

That’s a big reason why I stay on Twitter. You never know when you can find ways to benefit those near you in proximity or to interact with them in person.

The World is Smaller Than Ever: Use it to Your Advantage

Day 14 of Awkward Moments Experiment.

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October 24, 2011. 5:10PM.

I sat in my class and noticed a girl next to me who looked really familiar. I couldn’t put my mind onto who it was so I decided to ask, “Hi, you look familiar. What’s your name again?”

She hesitated at first and looked at me curiously. Then she said her name. Then it hit me. She’s the girlfriend of one of my relatives.

Crazy, small world.

I told her that I knew her boyfriend because he was related to me.

She laughed and we ended up talking about him while walking out of class and on the bus as well.

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The world is incredibly small with the internet and the connections all around you.

Use that to your advantage by:
-Noticing friends of friends around you.
-Finding people who are alike on the internet.
-Knowing that if you make a mistake, you will probably never see that person again.

Stop Being a Damn Zombie (and Collect Tasty Rejections)

Day 13 of the Awwkard Moments Experiment.

October 13, 2011. 2:40PM.

I enter the bus and scan around for an empty seat. I take the only seat left.

I observe the people around the bus.

The zombies are all out in full force, sitting around, playing on their iPhones, and being bored out of their minds.

Let’s play a little game called, “Stop Being a Damn Zombie.”

I see the person next to me has a teal cover on their Blackberry.

I say quickly, “Hey, you don’t see a teal cover on a phone everyday.”

The two people in the row in front of me look back with some sort of shock. Then they go back into their own world.

The girl next to me laughs and I smile back.

I blatantly ask her questions about her Technocultural Studies major, why she ditched Biology, what she was going to do with that major, and how ridiculous that major is if they’re not even talking about G+.

The point is I didn’t care to speak about myself because let’s face it: People want to speak about themselves.

I’m here to kill boredom. I’m here to break the silence of the zombie bus.

2:45PM.

I’m pretty sure she’s intrigued as this point so let’s do something hilarious.

“Hey, so my bus stop is next. Let’s meet again to have you talk about this awesome major of yours.”

Thanks to Steve Jobs, I hand my iPhone to her on the notes app. She types her e-mail.

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The following day: I write an e-mail to her.

Her reply:
“Hi I can’t make it this week. I have exams and my boyfriend is going to take me out. Sorry!”

Makes me smile and laugh every time.

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Want to stop the zombie in your life? Talk to people.

-Maybe you’ll never talk to them ever again except that one time.
-Maybe you’ll make a friend.
-Maybe you’ll gain a resourceful person.
-Maybe you’ll get the cold shoulder.

I know one thing. It sure takes out the zombie element of the day.