Today’s prompt from the Daily Post: “It turns out that your neighbor on the plane/bus/train (or the person sitting at the next table at the coffee shop) is a very, very chatty tourist. Do you try to switch seats, go for a non-committal brief small talk, or make this person your new best friend?”
I had to think about this prompt for a few minutes, and concluded that some people would say I was an extroverted person because I will chat it up with complete strangers. Others would think I am an introvert, guarded and a bit stand-offish because I don’t readily engage those people. How can one be both?
I have been labeled with empathic and intuitive qualities. I don’t know if I altogether believe those labels, but I would say that I do pick the “vibes” of certain people and gauge my social interaction to them accordingly. With some individuals, I will feel an immediate connection. Those are the people with warm and honest with a positive energy. Even as a stranger, that person will draw me forth and I will have interaction with them. These are individuals who have a healthy respect for personal boundaries. They will engage me, but won’t press too much.
However, there are others who may seem open and positive, but they have an erratic energy that tells me to guard myself and don’t give away too much information. I don’t inherently trust those people. Typically, such individuals are without filters and without the proper respect for boundaries. They will press for personal details and may even harangue in order to get me to engage. My “Spidey-sense” forces me to shut down even to the point of being seemingly rude to them. These individuals are what many experts in social interaction call “Energy Vampires”. They will suck the energy right out of me. In the case of the plane or coffee shop scenario, I would definitely try to find another seat. I don’t blame them for this. They are who they are.
I try not to be an energy vampire. (We always think it is the other person, never ourselves). I try to assess other people on an intuitive level and if I feel that someone else needs to have their space, I will back away. I will respect their boundaries.
I don’t want to be the person that drives others to change their seats.