You’re standing in an elevator and someone runs in to join you. Shit. Now you have to share this tiny space with them, awkwardly staring at the floor, buttons, ceiling, anywhere except the other person.
Why do we hold so much fear to say hello to a fellow human being?
Why do we fear calling someone on the phone instead of texting or emailing?
Why are we so resistant to forming connections?
These questions have persisted to increase for me as I consciously began to notice these situations often occurring. I currently live in a building with an elevator that I use every day (I live 7 floors from the basement where I enter…that’s too many stairs! haha). Many times I am alone in the elevator, but then someone joins me and I am presented with two options: either I stand there awkwardly pretending they aren’t there, or I say hello and ask them how their day is going. I used to choose the first option, because I am naturally awkward and I am terrified of small talk. But lately I have made a big effort to say hello, have a brief conversation about going out to dinner or coming back from work, and then wish them a wonderful rest of their day.
It’s amazing how easy it is to share this conversation but we still fear it. Why? I believe it is a combination of fear of acceptance and fear of the unknown. As human beings we crave acceptance and love but in order to gain it we need to have a moment of vulnerability. We need to make a step that could result in rejection (simply the person not responding or engaging in your conversation is enough for most of us to doubt our likability). Then the second is what I guarantee all of us fear at one moment or another, we don’t like being in new situations that have unknown results. We are creatures of comfort and meeting new people you know nothing about is the opposite of comfort.
But if we never put ourselves out there in this awkward limbo of unknown, we will never feel the beauty of acceptance. We will never connect with someone new that could either uplift your day or maybe you uplift theirs. Either way, taking that step will have a positive result and will teach you and the other human that it is ok to share space and conversation.
Most likely, connection is exactly what we needed.
Love & light,