Saying Hi 7/10/2023

Today, while at the gym, I had two vastly different interactions with people I am acquainted with.

The first was with a guy that I have never been close with but have known for a couple years now. We catch up whenever we see each other, and it is always friendly. Everyone can agree that this type of interaction is fantastic, and we all want more of them. They leave you feeling good, and they are just nice. Yet, these conversations are becoming more and more rare.

The second interaction was with an individual I had known for only a few months. See me and the second individual discussed my coming on to help with the technical side of his startup. Now, I am not involved with his startup for a couple reasons. I felt it was not a good fit for me, but I left the conversation on good terms, and we had a friendly relationship. However, when I saw him today and went up to say hi, the guy acted as though he did not know me. He acted at first as if he did not know me, then was very short. I was a bit taken aback. We had been nothing but friendly before. Maybe he was just in a mood, or perhaps he had honestly forgotten who I was (which I doubt, seeing as we had talked a few times about me helping with his startup). I was taken a bit aback, but it really isn't something I will dwell on besides writing this blog post.



Fear of Rejection


I think that the second type of interaction is becoming more and more common and is increasingly harmful. I am confident, so I am not afraid to go up to someone and say hi, but I know many people who are not. The fear of rejection, or an odd interaction where someone acts as though they do not know you, or are not interested in talking to you, is a big reason people are afraid to go up to someone and say hi. From my observation, this fear is becoming more and more common. Maybe this is being propagated by our collective societal addiction to our smartphones, but that is not my point here. My point is that being more open to the possibility of rejection or just a shitty interaction is essential; more often than not, the interaction will be like the first one I described. Does it sting a bit when someone acts as though they do not know you? Sure, but it's not the end of the world. I will forget about that interaction by the time I wake up tomorrow. But that interaction with the first guy will stick with me for a while. I will remember that interaction, and I will remember that he was friendly and that he was happy to see me.



Takeaway


Being okay with putting yourself out there and accepting that some interactions will not be great is important. I think that my mental health has vastly improved in the last few years because I have become more okay with the idea of rejection. See, I used to be overweight and uncomfortable with myself, and that anxiety and discomfort led to projecting that onto my interactions with others. I was afraid to put myself out there and to truly be myself, which led to my mental health suffering. Did people care about my weight? No, not really, but I did. I was afraid of being judged, made fun of, and rejected. So, my message to anyone that happens upon this post is to say hi to that guy you once had a class with or that girl/guy that you have always had a crush on. The worst that can happen is they will be dismissive, and you will forget about it by the time you wake up tomorrow. But, more likely is that you will have a good interaction, and your confidence will grow.