I went to a Tastefully Simple party tonight, given by one of my workmates. I’m glad I just had a vegie burger before I went. The concept is to sell seasoning, drink mixes (like frozen sangria) and bread/dessert mixes by making these things, putting them on a plate (or in a glass) and passing them around to sample.
The best part was the sangria mix, which was mixed with two bottles of really cheap sangria and frozen. I did not buy this. I am not sure if I trust myself with it, to be honest. 🙂 The second best thing was this garlic dipping stuff.. I think it was part sour cream and part mayo and a lifetime supply of garlic (which is saying a lot, because I don’t mind tasting raw garlic here and there). It keeps people away, you know?
I am sort of quiet around groups of people sometimes. I have to be comfortable with the situation; I watch and assess, and ensure no one is going to bite before I join in. Once I join in, I have a lot of fun. This was one of those times. Six of my workmates were at the party, my workmate’s mother, and several of her neighbors.
I was sure my workmates were thinking, “Hmm… we never see Lisa at anything like this.” I joined in the conversation with them and it was fun. Of course, the sangria sort of helped. 🙂 They even “went on” about someone I work with at work and didn’t worry about me being there to hear it. It was a display of trust, really, and that felt good.
The lady sitting next to me, who I didn’t know, leaned over and asked me if I’d ever been to one of these parties before and if I knew what was good to buy. I never had, and I had no idea. As the plates circled around (and around!), we mentioned which ones we liked, she asked about the new office we’re moving into, and I talked about how icky the old office is. I was waiting for her to tell me what she did for a living, but I worried that she would say, “Oh I stay at home with my kids”, and if she had.. the worst thing that could happen is that she would assume I thought that wasn’t a valid job, and I would have said, “That’s probably the most challenging job there is.”
And it would have been true. There are moms who would actually go insane staying home all day, and I am one of them. I love my child, btw. Just like all people are not cut out to be computer programmers, not all people who love their kids are designed to spend all day with them.
During the party, I thought, “Why can’t I just carry on conversations with strangers without watching and assessing first?” I think most of it is because I’m worried that I will say something wrong and insult someone (the reason I sometimes wish for an “unsend” email button in Gmail), or someone will secretly be wondering what the heck I am talking about. But I need to get over that. I am capable of carrying on a meaningful conversation. I can dig my way out of a perceived insult, I’m sure.
Luckily, I get a chance to practice public speech when I am required to train a group of people at work. Lately, I have only had one trainee at a time, which is also helpful. I’ve had groups of 12 or 15 people, and I do ok with those. My boss seems to think it’s “my thing”. I’m not sure I agree, but at least in training, I know what I’m talking about, and I have some confidence about what I am saying. I need to apply that outward to personal situations, and I can.
Think of all the people you will meet or pass by on the street in your lifetime. How many will you talk to or engage with? What might you have to learn or what might you contribute?
Do you have trouble joining in with a group of people? Why or why not?