On Taking Initiative in Socializing

Note: I’ve attempted to make 粥 (jook) before when I was sick during finals week!

Video of the day: Learning how to make jook (rice porridge, congee), chicken with wantanmien. Great source of inspiration for those who want to learn how to make Cantonese food.

When I was in elementary, and partially in middle school, I did not have any friends. If anything, I was afraid of meeting new people. I had no idea how to say anything to somebody, and I avoided working in groups. I was afraid of people thinking I was crazy.

I was really fortunate in the later part of my middle school years, and my high school years, I met friends that I eventually got along with, and through hanging out with them, we became pretty close (side note: I still talk to them from time to time today). I think definitely, if it wasn’t for them, I would still be afraid of socializing today.

However, something I’m still bad at (and I think sometimes a lot of people are) is making a lot of initiative to initiate social events, or initiate social interactions. I think it’s because after I started making friends, I grew up and was surrounded by people already are naturally good (or have practice at) doing that; because of that, I’m quite lazy at this, especially around my closest friends (although we don’t really mind since we’re so close that we don’t really judge each other for that).

Because of this, even if I meet new people, I still struggle that this portion. In other words, I expect others to start a conversation; this is my introverted flaw of me, despite the extroverted facade I carry, I still struggle with people who are pretty different from me.

If anything, I think it’s because I still have this fear that I developed ever since I was young; I’m still afraid of meeting people who are different from me. I’m afraid they’ll think I’m weird, 奇怪, 이상해요, etc. etc.

If there’s anything I want to work on for 2012, it’s pretty much that I want to develop relationships with people who are different from me. But at the same time, I want to cultivate what I feel makes me who I am, and share/give that experience to other people.

In college, especially, being able to stand out and meet all sorts of people is such a difficult task to do; I can only point out a few people who can successfully do it. That’s why it makes it so hard (now whether that person is able to maintain close relationships with that many people, etc., that’s a different question).

I admire the person who is not afraid to even just approach me, despite how socially awkward I sometime feel sometimes.

I think the first step for me is to remove the expectation that I will be close with everybody. That’s impossible; I really can’t do that, and I think that extreme expectation can really limit the types of experiences you have with everybody. People enjoy meeting other people, but being close is a rare occasion. People have so many different experiences in life that you have to accept that each person will be busy at times; they may or may not be close with you. The goal with being with that person is to learn how to experience life differently and enjoy those experiences.

To reference the Type of Friends article Phillip Guo writes, who distinguishes between close friends and acquaintances (Type 1 being very close, and type 5 being acquaintances), I’d like to meet lots more type 2 and type 3.

To obtain those type 2 & 3, I’d really like to work on myself (especially with cooking!), while going out more often and divulging in a variety of interests to connect with people. In general, it requires me to be selfless (although knowing when to maintain this balance is important. I think I need to experiment with this). Don’t care what this person thinks; lead and do things by example: I think, if anything, these are the qualities I value in the extroverted people I encounter in college.

And, the cooking part, I added since I want to use this as an instrument in getting to know people. Chinese food, huzzah!

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